*Originally written November 25th, 2016*
I was looking forward to this, despite my reservations. I wasn't a huge fan of Zemeckis's last R-rated effort 'Flight', which was a heavy handed 2 hour anti-alcohol advert and it feels like I've had to watch the Allied trailer about 30 times in the past month.
This fictionalized World War 2 romance was an excellent piece of work from Zemeckis and easily his most mature work in a while. Tense, engaging and packed a lot of emotional weight with its ending. Which are all things I didn't expect from Allied.
I was taken back by its slow pace. If anyone was expecting this to Mr and Mrs Smith meets Inglorious Basterds, then just don't bother. This was a deliberately paced drama with a little bit of action thrown in. There's a wide variety of locations. The first act takes place in Casablanca, while the rest of the film takes place in London. While the scenes in Casablanca looked beautiful, the change of scenery to WW2 era London was welcome. There is also some lovely period production design and costumes, which made me really feel like I was watching a film from the era.
The relationship between Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard (Who both give great performances) feel real and genuine, despite taking a little time to get there. The two had real chemistry that made everything all that more impactful. Honestly, the ending I didn't expect to work as well as it did on me, but by the end I was very invested and felt dead inside after. In a good way.
My only real complaints are the predictability of the plot (There's only really one way could have gone) and sometimes Zemeckis's digital photography is glaringly obvious in some scenes that looked horrifically green screened. That said, while the story is predictable, it is no less engaging. And while the action is far and few between, the few set-pieces are well shot and pack a visceral punch. It feels odd seeing violent scenes in a Zemeckis film, but I guess he's branching out now.
Allied is a slow-burn, but a totally worthy World War 2 drama about doomed romance. Excellent lead performances, well-shot and the ending really is one of the bleakest and most heartbreaking things I've seen this year.
Allied is out now on 4K UHD, Blu-ray and DVD in the UK
Watch the trailer below:
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