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Brad Pitt has a problem with Nazis. Not that they don’t warrant a certain amount of enmity, but with Inglourious Basterds, Fury and now Allied, Mr Pitt is consistently waging his own movie war against the Third Reich. In Robert Zemeckis’ latest, Pitt’s Canadian Wing Commander Max Vatan is joined by the dangerous and beguiling Marianne Beauséjour (Marion Cotillard), who first joins him in a Casablanca assassination operation, then comes with him to England, marries him and they begin a family in Hampstead, while the war continues. When Max’s superiors find evidence that Marianne is a German spy, the happiness rapidly gives way to mistrust and suspicion. Despite the promising set up, meticulous period detail and some gripping set pieces – including the key assassination in Casablanca, a mission into German-occupied France and some air raids on London – Allied rarely feels more than a handsomely mounted portrait. The central relationship lacks enveloping emotion, perhaps due to a rushed pace. Zemeckis is a solid director, but Allied lacks the more heartrending moments of his other work – Tom Hanks crying out ‘Wilson’ is more upsetting than the Vatans’ marriage cracking under suspicion. That said, the moments at Max’s office are engaging in their depiction of period espionage, and do form a nice contrast with the domestic homelife. Allied is an engaging enough romantic period thriller, but is overall the sum is less than the parts.



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