By Jim Tortolano
John Wayne liked cavalry movies. Brad Pitt likes World War II movies. He’s in a pretty good one called “Allied,” which deftly combines action, romance and mystery.
He plays Max Vatan, a Canadian intelligence officer who falls in love with Marianne Beausejour (played by Marion Cotillard), a French resistance operative.
At first he “resists” making their cover of being a happily married couple look very realistic, but – as you might guess – he eventually falls for her. After a spectacular assassination operation and escape, they end up in England, married for real.
That would make for a moderately interesting movie, but the story is just starting. The new couple settles into cozy wartime domesticity, complete with darling baby daughter, but things may not quite be what they seem. The possibility arises that Marianne is someone other than who she claims launches the action in the second half of the film.
Robert Zemeckis directs from a screenplay by Steven Knight, and this is a nicely-paced, well-done film. Performances by Pitt and Cotillard evoke the progression from skepticism to true affection. The editing is crisp and clever and the sets and effects are all spot-on, or seem to be.
The movie does suffer from a couple of Volkswagen-sized plot holes, and the big Nazi party scene seems almost a copy (parody?) of a similar scene in “Inglorious Basterds” in which Pitt played an American spy-type.
So what if Pitt has found a character he likes and wants to keep killing Nazis, just like Wayne did with outlaws? Wayne did it well, and became a legend. Pitt’s not there yet, but this movie will stand as a fine addition to the canon years from now.
“Allied” is rated R for some nudity, violence and language.
Categories: Arts & Leisure