Allied – the film where Brad Pitt takes the lead in the post-war drama as Max Vatan, the head of the Birmingham carpets and flooring company. His Brummy accent is impeccable!!
But he takes a break from laying feet-friends by pretending that he’s laying Marianne Beauséjour (Marion Cotillard) while he’s out and about in Casablanca, Morocco, where everyone speaks French and, because it’s 1942, they hate the Nazis who are flourishing. Working together as husband and wife, it’s less Mr & Mrs Smith, and more M. & Mme. Faber.
But they’re not just there for the ‘Nazi’ things in life, since putting on an act of doing the business leads to it happening in real life, and soon comes marriage and a child. They settle down to family life, but Max knows that sooner or later, he’s going to be recalled from his desk job back for some derring do to sort out the bad guys, since there’s still a war on.
Then there’s a twist which may or may not be true, and the film plays that storyline out, but I didn’t know it before I watched the film so I won’t divulge it here (okay, it’s in the trailer from when I saw that, but I’ve had a sleep since then). Safe to say, Allied maintains the intrigue throughout the just-over-two-hour running time.
Allied is – at times – cheesy, silly, but always very entertaining. This movie was criticised for having a lack of chemistry between the two leads, but they certainly have that. I think this is one of those cases where the critics all gang up on a particular film as it seems cool to do so.
There’s a number of amusing moments early on, such as when Max is tested by the Germans by writing down the chemical formula for phosphate as he’s assuming the identity of someone who works in that field, plus a scene where he’s shuffling cards (you’ll see), and I also enjoyed the times when they’re bumping baddies off as it reminds me of the same thing happening in the game Hitman. Similarly, gunning down Nazis down is like Sniper Elite 4 (albeit not in the OTT style of Pitt’s Inglorious Basterds).
Overall, Allied is a comfortable watch. However, every last set looks just that…. a set. And awash with CGI and green screen, too. You don’t get the feeling they’re in Casablanca at all.
The film is presented in the original 2.35:1 ratio and in 1080p high definition and is pin-sharp throughout and looking absolutely stunning, as you’d expect from a modern movie, which also helps bring the period detail to life, even if a lot of the background is created in a computer.
The sound is presented in Dolby Atmos for this who have such technical ability, but I watched it in DTS 5.1 and whether there’s action scenes with gunfire and explosions, or drama with Alan Silvestri’s score pinning the tension on the scene, it’s all very effective.
Aside from an audio descriptive track, the main extras total six seconds short of 68 minutes. They can play as one entire piece or ten individual pieces, taking in the story behind the film, the production design, a piece on Mr Zemeckis, the costumes, the two lead characters, the rest of the cast, the visual effects, vehicles, weapons and the music in the film.
The menu is a static image of the two leads along with a sliver of Alan Silvestri‘s Trust from the soundtrack in the background. There are a mediocre 15 chapters (I prefer one every five minuts on average which would make 25, here), and the dialogue is in six flavours while there are eleven for the subtitles, all detailed below.
Don’t tell him Hitler loses. He’ll find that out in three years time.
Running time: 124 minutes
Studio: Paramount Home Video
Released: April 3rd 2017
Picture: 1080p High Definition
Sound: DTS-HD MA 5.1 (English only), Dolby Digital 5.1
Languages: DTS-HD MA 5.1 (English), Dolby Digital 5.1 (English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Japanese), English Audio Description
Subtitles: English, Danish, German, Spanish, French, Italian, Japanese, Dutch, Norwegian, Finnish, Swedish
Widescreen: 2.35:1 (Redcode RAW (6K) (8K))
Disc Format: BD50
Director: Robert Zemeckis
Producers: Graham King, Steve Starkey and Robert Zemeckis
Screenplay: Steven Knight
Music: Alan Silvestri
Max Vatan: Brad Pitt
Marianne Beauséjour: Marion Cotillard
Frank Heslop: Jared Harris
Guy Sangster: Matthew Goode
Bridget Vatan: Lizzy Caplan
Emmanuel Lombard: Anton Lesser
Hobar: August Diehl
Monique: Camille Cottin
Louise: Charlotte Hope
Mrs Sinclair: Marion Bailey
S.O.E. Official: Simon McBurney
George Kavanagh: Daniel Betts
Paul Delamare: Thierry Frémont
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.