Allied ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Set in the midst of WWII, the espionage romance drama, starring the ridiculously glamourous and good looking Brad Pitt and Marion Cottiard opens with his character parachuting down to a barren deserted landscape somewhere in Morocco and then transported to Casablanca to meet her mysterious femme (as in fatale). With this, the film cannot signal any harder its intentions as a very conventional and old-fashioned film along the lines of classics such as Casablanca or The Maltese Falcon. But while the film is of that genre, the story itself is essentially first act, assassination thriller followed by second act, British WWII drama. Personally, with expectations manageably reduced, I was surprised by how engrossed I was as the film manages to maintain a well-paced tension almost until the very last scene. Robert Zemeckis directs ably with little fuss as if he is working under the old Hollywood system, with high production value and fine details for the period. While chemistry between Marion Coittiard and Brad Pitt would not have worried either of their respective (ex-) spouses, there are some decent, watchable scenes between the two – the weak spot being Pitt, who looks like a million dollar movie star in his tux and uniform but his stoic and restrained performance I find borderline wooden at times, or maybe he is just channelling the stiff-upper-lippiness of a David Niven or other British actors in films like this, even though he plays his Canadian character with less depth and nuance. The film does set itself some unrealistically high bars to meet but that aside, I reckon it is an entertaining enough film for a Sunday afternoon, judged on its own merits.

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