'Allied' review: Brad Pitt a dismal bore in WWII romance

Love During Wartime

Though sly deceptiveness and spirited probing fuels their initial affair, Marianne seems happy to leave behind the lies and pretense of pretending to be someone she is not...or does she?

The A-list star vehicle for Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard is unfortunately caught somewhere between bullet-ridden World War II mystery and banter-laden epic love story.

But Allied isn't just about snappy patter, exchanging glances, love embraces and cloaked betrayal; the movie features machine gunfire and a few grim assassinations.

The sisters, who were just a year old at the time of filming, both played the role of Pitt and Cotillard's on-screen daughter Anna, sharing the role between them after their mum, Emma Paradise, responded to an urgent call for identical twins from casting agency Bonnie and Betty. The long lead-up to the big event is also the couple's entrance chute into real emotional closeness, and the very fact that they're resisting the attraction and fighting the impulse, makes us anxious for them to just give in already.

As Brad and Angelina announced their divorce plans, the proceedings for the romantic thriller film "Allied" were also kicking off.

The two might look good together in the red carpet with their God-given looks and charisma, how does the critics see their new WWII film directed by renowned director Robert Zemeckis? Allied reaches back to the tradition of old Hollywood romances against a war backdrop, with a noir twist, and it is content to move along at a methodical pace. This is a case of the actor and the character coming together so nicely. It begins in Casablanca, 1942, where two skilled assassins (Pitt&Cotillard) have been sent to assassinate an ambassador of Third Reich.

Marion Cotillard and Brad Pitt
Marion Cotillard and Brad Pitt

That knowledge, acquired roughly halfway through the film, seems to upend "Allied" and make it a trickier, better movie, at least for a while.

Same for movies about spies who fall in love.

"Allied" is, for the most part, a conventional and classic World War II drama. Beats me, they didn't cover that one in Ms. Carboy's 11th grade history class. His new assignment is to kill a high-ranking German officer. He follows the man into a phone booth and strangles him, making it appear as if he choked. Although Max is all about business, focused on the duo's upcoming, risky Nazi-killing mission, Marianne likes to live dangerously. He runs afoul of the Third Reich in the process, hiding under the floorboards in a scene that evokes the tightly coiled tension of "Inglourious Basterds". The opportunity for the sublime Marion Cotillard display its baby bump in a handsome red silk dress. In Cotillard's best scene, lengthy, tense shots pan between her wide-eyed gaze and anxious fumblings with the baby as she waits for Max in their getaway vehicle.

Cotillard is great as usual, She dominates the first half of the movie, ever magnetizing the gaze with those wonderfully expressive eyes. "I was trying to create a look that was accurate, while designing the cinema to look contemporary", Zemeckis says.

Pitt spends the rest of the movie mostly looking stricken and uncomfortable, as if he'd eaten substandard tinned meat, and you mentally start taking note of other actors who could have been slotted in to provide the same mix of gravitas and testosterone: Clooney, DiCaprio, maybe Damon. Upon leaving the theater, you may be so enraptured by its heart-pounding climax that you'll forget the difficulty in getting there.

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