Entertainment Movies

REVIEW

'Allied' review: Brad Pitt a dismal bore in WWII romance

By Bruce Kirkland, Special to Postmedia Network

Entertainment Review

Allied

2 stars

  • Starring: Brad Pitt, Marion Cotillard, Lizzy Caplan, Jared Harris, Simon McBurney
  • Directed by: Robert Zemeckis
  • Written by: Steven Knight
  • Duration: 124 minutes

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Allied, Robert Zemeckis’ World War II spy thriller and romance is a bitter disappointment. I blame Zemeckis, as the director, and Brad Pitt, as the leading man. Pitt is deadly dull as the hero and Zemeckis is under the misguided impression that Pitt does some of the finest work of his career.

Oddly, because it is the second Canadian character the American superstar has played (after his abolitionist role in 12 Years a Slave). Pitt is a fictional Canadian pilot who joins the British Intelligence service to spy for the Allies in North Africa and Europe.

That intrigues me because my own father was in the RCAF and served as a spy for the Allies in North Africa in the same era, the 1940s. The personal parallel ends there. In the movie, written by Steven Knight (creator of TV’s Peaky Blinders), Pitt’s spy meets and marries a French spy whom he meets on an assassination assignment in Casablanca.

His object of desire is played with complexity, sex appeal and emotional gravitas by the Oscar-winning French star, Marion Cotillard. If Pitt’s performance was even a small fraction of Cotillard’s in terms of quality, energy and interest, Allied might have become a great old-fashioned war romance in the vein of the classic Casablanca, co-starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman.

Instead, Pitt is the walking dead and Allied is a crushing bore that fails to even engage us as it grinds through its twisty plotting back in London.

Twitter: @Bruce_Kirkland

BKirkland@postmedia.com