With the caliber of talent in front of and behind the camera, and the story teased at in these trailers, expectations will be high going into this film. Unfortunately, it doesn’t quite manage to deliver on its promises; it is less epic and more uneven.
The film follows a Canadian intelligence officer (Brad Pitt) and French resistance fighter (Marion Cotillard) who are thrown together on a dangerous mission during World War II, and fall in love. However, years after returning to live in England, suspicions arise as to whether Cotillard is spying for the Germans, turning Pitt’s world upside down and beginning a game of paranoia and deception.
The film takes a while to build up. The first acts detailing the leads’ romance is slow and disengaging, thanks in most part to a lack of sexual tension and chemistry on screen making their romance unconvincing. The film does pick up as the mystery is introduced, improving the pace (which isn’t helped by some abrupt editing) and becoming much more enthralling. There are some clever parallels drawn between the faking of a love affair on mission in Casablanca and the way the couple behave when married in London, helping to cast doubt over the authenticity of their relationship and build a net of paranoia. The film does have some great scenes and moments, but as a whole is carried along by the story, helping to string it all together and helping it to ultimately manage to evoke emotion in the end.
The cast delivers fairly solid performances, but the chemistry between the leads is never quite there. The scenes reuniting Pitt with his old Inglourious Basterds co-star (August Diehl) may remind fans of the 2009 film, a comparison ultimately detrimental to the viewing of Allied.
The end result is a watchable and fairly entertaining affair, but not the grand epic you might expect from Robert Zemeckis teamed with his Oscar-winning leads. Unfortunately, it is more lackluster than brilliant.