Allied 2016 ***

Despite the star-power on offer, Robert Zemeckis’ WWII thriller seems to be destined to be a flop. That’s a shame, because it’s a reasonable shot at reviving some old-school melodrama, garnished with the director’s typical visual tricks. Brad Pitt is Max Vatan, a Canadian paratrooper who falls for Marianne (Marion Cotillard) while on an assassination mission in Casablanca. Back in Blighty, the two agents set up a chicken-coop in Hampstead, but suspicions are raised that Marianne might be a Nazi agent and Pitt is charged with setting a trap for her. The look of Allied recalls late 70’s WWII dramas like Eye of the Needle or Yanks, and Pitt and Cotillard certainly look the part. But unlike Pitt’s war-comic Fury, Allied seems determined to play the war-is-hell card in a revisionist way, with cocaine-snorting officers, openly lesbian couples and all kinds of odd details along the way to the startling if hardly pleasing conclusion.


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