Allied Review: Zemeckis not yet back to his old form | Boxing Day Review | Boxing Day Review | SWITCH.




By Jess Fenton
18th December 2016

Robert Zemeckis was the man responsible for some of the greatest movies; in my opinion the greatest movie ever made, ‘Back to the Future’. He also gave us ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit’ and ‘Death Becomes Her’. Always pushing, expanding and creating leading cinematic technologies to get the job done and get the story told. Eventually he gave up on live action altogether and started in on motion-capture, producing the woeful ‘Beowulf’, ‘The Polar Express’ and ‘A Christmas Carol’. He returned to actors of the flesh and blood variety back in 2012, but his “time away” didn’t do him any favours. Still lusting after that technical and visual high, he’s forsaken story, plot and genuine character in favour of whatever a computer can give him. His latest vacation from decent filmmaking is ‘Allied’, the film all the tabloids were talking about not-too-long ago, and I can tell you now that whatever they said was probably more entertaining than this mess.


In Casablanca 1942, Canadian intelligence officer Max (Brad Pitt) is partnered with French resistance fighter Marianne (Marion Cotillard) for a mission. While posing as husband and wife, the pair complete their mission and allow business to cross over into pleasure, as they fall in love. When Max is stationed in London, Marion is granted passage as well and the couple marry and start a happy life and family - until eventually Marion’s loyalty is questioned. Max becomes riddled with doubt and sets out to uncover the truth before time runs out.

Spy movies, betrayal, secret identities, cover marriages - it's all been done. In fact, most of it’s on TV these days - bigger arcs, more time to explore the layers. The audacity that anyone can come along thinking they can do anything new or better is huge and often a failure. Zemeckis has done one such disservice. Think ‘Mr and Mrs Smith’ except not funny, less action and less sex. Boring! Oh okay, there’s one sex scene that takes place in a car, in the middle of a sand storm. And with it, the stupid-factor is introduced.

Think ‘Mr and Mrs Smith’ except not funny, less action and less sex. Boring!

Pitt, a terrific actor, phones it in. Hindsight could possibly blame his personal issues behind the scenes. Let's hope so, and not that this is a turn for the worse. As for Cotillard, well she isn’t given much to do here except look sultry and forlorn. Sure she succeeds, but is that really something you want to watch?

With an unsatisfactory ending, middle and only a slightly above-average beginning, there are better ways to spend your Boxing Day. If you’re looking for that sweeping grand war romantic drama, you won’t find it here.

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