By Shelby Fielding (Lubbock, Texas, US)

 

Allied: Robert Zemeckis is Back with a Great Spy Thriller

Allied is directed by Robert Zemeckis and stars Brad Pitt as well as Marion Cotillard, and this film tells the story of a British spy who travels to Casablanca to complete a tough mission with a fellow foreign spy. After a great combination of events and timing between the two character they fall in love and travel back to England to get married, and after a couple of years Brad Pitt’s character is brought in by his commanding officers who warns him that they have suspicions that his wife is a German spy. This launches the audiences on this dramatic spy thriller that encompasses themes of unconditional love as well as the drastic decision of choosing between what truly is the right thing to do and what is the wrong thing to do. They carry out these themes by using very skillful direction and editing from Robert Zemeckis, and great on-screen chemistry between Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard.

I was looking forward to this film due to the fact that I love Robert Zemeckis as a director. He has directed some of my favorite films such as Forrest Gump, Back to the Future, The Polar Express, and Cast Away. Now he as a director does have a lot of hit and misses with his filmmaking in my opinion. When he hits that mark with his filmmaking he hits it very well and creates some amazing pieces of cinema. But, when he misses he misses really hard. So with him as a director a lot of the time it is all or nothing with his filmography. Allied defies that because it’s a bit of both. He hits the mark as well as misses the mark. Let me explain first by saying this film should be nominated for production design as well as costume design. Because the design of the locations, the setting, the costumes, and the landscape is unbelievable. I truly felt myself losing touch with the fact that this movie was made in the 1940’s.

As far as filmmaking goes, this film was really well-directed. The action sequences were awesome to watch thanks to fabulous editing and brilliant direction of these sequences. However, the direction was mostly centralized around the interactions between characters. You could tell that Zemeckis was really trying to let these characters make the story enthralling by creating a bunch of scenes that are completely driven by dialogue. Which is where this film fell a little flat for me. Because I felt that Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard’s performances were a little lackluster in my opinion. Let me clarify by saying I do not think these performances were bad, I just thought they were not as great as they could have been. Especially because these are two very talented actors. Yet, there on-screen chemistry was very good it was the scenes where their characters had to stand on their own that I lost interest as a viewer.

The other flaw I found revolved around the filmmaking itself. I felt this film lacked urgency. Because this is a very emotional story that truly is trying to make you as audience relate with the characters. But, the film spends a little too much time getting started. It really lingers on the beginning to where I felt myself asking “OK, when does the thriller start?” So, that lack of urgency creates the sense of lost tension with these powerful scenes. When the film’s main narrative begins to unfold though it is really awesome and enthralling. I found it super intriguing in how we follow Brad Pitt’s character and the torture that he not only goes through from the situation, but as well as the torture he puts himself through. But, if that tension was there in the beginning I feel like those scenes would have been so much more emotionally powerful.

Overall this film tells an intriguing narrative that is held back by the lack of urgency in its direction and loss of tension due to disappointing standalone performances from Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard. I did enjoy this film as a whole though in part to very well-directed action sequences, well-directed character interactions, great on-screen chemistry between Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard, and incredible production design.

I enjoyed Allied and I hope Robert Zemeckis can come back with a better film and show that he can still make those jaw-dropping classics. I’m going to give Allied a B-. What did you guys think? Is Allied one Zemeckis’s best? Or, is it his worst? Let me know down in the comments down below and as always have a blessed day.

Rating: 3/5

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