Cast includes: Brad Pitt (Inglourious Basterds), Marion Cotillard (La Vie en Rose), Lizzy Caplan (Masters of Sex), Simon McBurney (The Theory of Everything), Jared Harris (The Man from U.N.C.L.E.)
Director: Robert Zemeckis (Back to the Future (franchise), Forrest Gump)
Genre: Drama | Suspense | Romance (124 minutes)
The Moroccan desert looks like a moonscape as Max parachutes in. A dust cloud in the far distance alerts him to the approach of a vehicle… as it slows, Max puts a hand on the Luger. He knows a car has been sent for him, but you can never let down your guard. This is 1942, and spies don’t stay alive by being too trusting. The car appears to be legit, and Max goes through the suitcase in the back seat… passports, clothes and weapons. “Your wife will be wearing a purple dress with a hummingbird,” the tell him when they reach the Casablanca night club. Marianne recognizes Max right away and introduces him to a large table of friends… “My wonderful, wonderful husband, Maurice… just in from Paris.” The lovebirds excuse them selves… a lot to catch up on. “Not bad.” “You’re not so bad, yourself.” “I’ve heard a lot about you… your entire circuit was taken out.” Marianne isn’t so eager to talk about what happened in V Section… she’s focused on the current mission. “Do they trust you?” Max asks, adding... “They seem to like you.” “And I like them. I keep the emotions real… that’s why it works.” And now Marianne needs to sell Max as Maurice. His Parisian accent is a problem… “sounds like pure Quebec”… as one might expect, given that Max is Canadian.
For the next 10 days, the faux lovebirds need to prepare for the mission without causing any suspicion from their nosey Nazi neighbors. Their little apartment has a closet full of clothes for Maurice. “You spend too much on clothes. Your shoes are always polished. And you are a good Catholic.” The mission is almost blown when Max notices a German officer who once interrogated him. And then there’s Heir Hobar, who will test Max before giving him an invitation to the reception for the German Ambassador. But Marianne and Max are professionals, and they’re going to get their “chance to make history.” “What are our odds of surviving?” Marianne asks. “60-40… against,” says Max. Amazingly, the faux lovebirds do survive and become lovebirds for real (what a surprise!)… eventually getting married and making their home in the Highgate section of North London. But this isn’t the end of the tale. With many twists and turns, Marianne’s V Section experience will be called into question…initiating a “blue dye” operation.
Allied is a slick WWII adventure and an engaging diversion. Although the plot twists seem suspenseful while they’re happening, by the end, it’s hard to say there were many big surprises. The real stars of this film are the styling and polished production values. The performances were passable, although the roles weren’t especially challenging. (Brad Pitt may still be a box office draw, but he’s not entirely convincing as a young war hero.) Still, it’s an enjoyable 2 hours… trying to figure out what’s real and what’s not. Back in Morocco, Marianne and Max talked about their dreams for after the war. He talks about having a ranch with horses in Medicine Hat. Marianne’s plans are more vague… “Where I am isn’t so important.”
2 popped kernels
In a dangerous world, it’s hard to know what’s real and what’s not
Rated: R (Violence)
Audience: Young Adults
Gender Style: Bold
Distribution: Mainstream Wide Release
Tempo: Zips Right Along
Visual Style: High-End Production
Nutshell: WWII intelligence agents
Language: True to life