Robert Zemeckis’ filmography speaks for itself, including many much loved classics of years gone by. Last year he brought us the magnificent ‘The Walk’ and I was hoping that his most recent project ‘Allied’ could continue on from that high. If the cast was anything to go by there was surely no need to worry with both Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard starring in lead roles.
‘Allied’ tells the tale of two spies caught in the crossfire of war and their developing relationship with plenty of espionage inbetween. The narrative has two main settings with the first part of the story taking place in Morocco before moving to London later on in the film. The section in Morocco reminded me so much of ‘Spectre’. I’m aware this could be taken as a positive or a negative but here it was a very good thing, albeit the similarities largely spawn from the setting and some scenes looking very similar. However, it was also the look and feel of things in this section, it had the deep intrigue and delightfully exotic nature that the most recent ’00’ adventure also had which, for me at least, added quality.
For the most part this narrative is a mystery and it works very well as one. The story is layered nicely in a way that will have you questioning everything the characters do and everything you think about them. Although despite this effective structure it didn’t make way for all that much cinematic drama. The film stays on one level for the majority of the run time and maybe doesn’t quite match the potential it had for tension or excitement. However, there are a couple of action sequences included in the film and these are without a doubt the highlights it’s just a shame that some more couldn’t have been included. Everything narratively is done to an acceptable standard and as a result the film held my attention consistently throughout, there isn’t much wrong with the film it just lacked a bit of cinematic magic, the kind that Zemeckis is usually so masterful at creating.
Narrative aside could the performances make up for the slightly lacking story? Yes and no would be the answer. Pitt and Cotillard are so dependable as performers but even they struggled to overcome a slightly clunky script, especially in the first section in Morocco. After events move to London though they seemed much more at home in their roles and whilst ‘Allied’ is neither of their best work they still perform very well both having individual moments to shine.
So whilst ‘Allied’ isn’t amongst the best of this directors work and it lacks the excitement that this narrative really should have it is still a perfectly good film and one that should hold your attention adequately. I wanted to like this movie more than I really did but there was still plenty to take enjoyment from whilst watching. With a fondness for the main players involved, a well structured narrative and a striking resemblance to James Bond’s most recent mission ‘Allied’ managed to entertain me with ease, however admittedly there was potential for a much better film here.
Rating – 7/10
Question: What is your favourite Robert Zemeckis film?
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