World War Two is raging, as a Canadian spy, Max (Brad Pitt) and a French resistance fighter Marianne (Marion Cotillard) meet in Casablanca to complete a deadly mission. Their relationship builds and grows, and soon they are married and united in London, as real life husband and wife. When Marianne is suspected of being a German spy, Max has 72 hours to prove she is innocent or to kill her. How far would he go for love?
Offering a lengthy prologue in Casablanca (a certain reference without a doubt) ALLIED immediately establishes itself as a modern take of a classic World War Two romance. The movie spends enough time to build the characters and their perfect affair, just to throw it all into turmoil in the second act. The characters are believable, the love, they feel for each other, is genuine and the tension that builds on a premise that one of them is a villain keeps it all tightly paced.
The dilemma, "did she or did she not", is a perfect entertainment tool, as we are constantly being thrown off balance by the introduction of multiple "red herrings". The finale at the airport is another nod to classic CASABLANCA, where their great love hangs in the balance and sacrifices are to be made.
Robert Zemeckis always makes solid and stylish films, with exceptional camera work, but what I find most attractive in his work is a sense of a pure adventure. ALLIED is a romantic thriller, but above all it is an adventure film.
In the acting department, all the limelight is stolen by Marion Cotillard, with Brad Pitt doing a decent job, but somehow, being the main protagonist, he feels to be in a supporting role.
ALLIED never loses its pace nor stops being entertaining, however it does feel like a much smaller movie stretched out to a two hour mark. That said, however, ALLIED may benefit from multiple viewing, as it is a beautifully written, acted and executed film.