With more than a nod to Casablanca, director Robert Zemeckis delivers an enjoyably old-fashioned espionage thriller starring Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard as a couple tussling with love, loyalty, suspicion and deception in the midst of World War Two.
Pitt plays Max Vatan, a Canadian airman working for British intelligence, and he hooks up with Cotillard’s French Resistance fighter, Marianne Beauséjour, after parachuting into Nazi-occupied Morocco in 1942. Their mission: assassinate the German ambassador.
In sun-baked Casablanca, strangers Max and Marianne must pose as husband and wife to undertake their perilous assignment; a year later, in grey, damp London, they are husband and wife for real. Then comes news that British intelligence has sprung a leak…
"Dressed to kill"
Sumptuously glossy, Allied looks fabulous. And so do its stars. Even when the bullets are flying, they still look impossibly glamorous. Dressed to kill, in more was than one. Take a step back, and the film’s melodramatic intrigue begins to look shaky, but there are so many sequences of high suspense you might not even notice. And, in the moments in between, Stephen Knight’s screenplay gives its hero and heroine some delicious repartee for us to relish.
‘You’ll be OK to use a Sten on the night?’ asks Max on the eve of the mission in Casablanca, fearing his partner won’t get to grips with their weaponry. ‘I would be OK if I had to use cutlery,’’ is Marianne’s blade-sharp rejoinder.
Certificate 15. Runtime mins. Director Robert Zemeckis
Allied is available on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray & DVD on Monday 3 April from Paramount Pictures.
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A film critic for over 25 years, Jason admits the job can occasionally be glamorous – sitting on a film festival jury in Portugal; hanging out with Baz Luhrmann at the Chateau Marmont; chatting with Sigourney Weaver about The Archers – but he mostly spends his time in darkened rooms watching films. He’s also written theatre and opera reviews, two guide books on Rome, and competed in a race for Yachting World, whose great wheeze it was to send a seasick film critic to write about his time on the ocean waves. But Jason is happiest on dry land with a classic screwball comedy or Hitchcock thriller.