Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Allied Review

The movie that ruined Brad Pitt's marriage? Well, no. But that's the conclusions that the internet immediately jumped to after Hollywood's favorite marriage sadly ended a month before Brad's new romance movie was released. I mean, the narrative was there. Brad falls in love with Marion Collitard on set and cheats on Angelina. Angelina finds out, gets angry, then files for divorce. Marion shows up pregnant to the premier with Brad being super happy. But that's what you get for jumping to conclusions. Marion was quick to shut down those rumors, stating that the father of her baby is her long time boyfriend and the two are still happily together. Something else ruined Brad and Angelina's marriage and maybe it's best not to pry into the personal life. But since I brought it up in my November preview, I'd figure it's probably best that I do my part to shut it down. Moving on, let's talk about this movie that had me absolutely captivated from the moment I saw that first trailer. It was one of my most anticipated movies of November. But like many of my highly anticipated movies from 2016, this is yet another film that fell victim to disappointment. Instead of being a highly intense thriller, this movie is instead a boring, predictable slog. Man, this has been a mean year.

Allied follows Brad Pitt and Marion Collitard as two secret agents of sorts during World War II. Brad is a Canadian intelligence officer while Marion is a French resistance fighter. The two get teamed up as a fake married couple and are assigned to assassinate a German ambassador. Turns out pretending to be a married couple becomes quite easy as the two fall in love and get married after their mission is complete. They move to London and have a daughter. Life is all hunky-dory, right? Turns out Marion is suspected of being a German spy and Brad is told that if this is true, his order will be to kill her. Yikes! That's harsh! That premise is what drew me into this film. All of the advertising was focused on this idea that Brad might have to kill his wife, which is quite the predicament and I was excited to see how it all unfolded and I was ready for an intense ride. Turns out me saying this is almost a spoiler. This whole love story between Brad and Marion takes up a huge portion of time. In fact, them getting married and moving to London is practically the mid-point of the movie. Yet I don't know how to talk about this movie without discussing the movie that was advertised and how it held up to my expectations. So, uh, sorry. I think. I won't spoil the movie, but I am talking about it.

First off, we have to discuss a huge elephant in the room. This movie is trying super hard to be a modern-day Casablanca. I mean, it doesn't take a movie expert to figure that out. Yes, Casablanca is one of the all-time classics and a fantastic movie in my opinion. But if you've never seen the movie, you've at least heard the title and that title is said on many occasions in this movie. Allied is set in the city of Casablanca during World War II at about the same exact time as the movie Casablanca. And they can't stop reminding us that they are in Casablanca. That kinda got old. I was like, I get it. Both movies even have a similar general setup with a forbidden romance of sorts during World War II. And I suppose if we were trying to do a modern-day Casablanca and we were forced to cast the best two modern-day actors to take the roles of Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, Brad Pitt and Marion Collitard are excellent choices. Those two are two of the best in the business that everyone loves. Their chemistry in the movie is off the charts. The problems of this movie have nothing to do with Brad and Marion's performances. And trying to be a modern-day Casablanca is not a bad thing since this isn't a remake. This just isn't anywhere close to Casablanca in terms of quality.

Boring and drawn-out are the two best adjectives for this movie. It's not that every bit of advertising revealed how this romance would turn out and so you are just waiting for the movie to get to the point. It's that the whole first half of the movie is completely uninteresting. I'm certainly not anti-romance. I love myself a well put together romance film. Casablanca is a perfect example of that. You're fully invested in every moment of that movie and you are excited and intrigued about how everything is going to play out. Every scene has a purpose and a meaning behind it. Allied is the exact opposite. Just about every scene could've been down and edited more sharply. Certain scenes didn't even need to be in the movie. A lot of extra dialogue was included that did nothing for the film. The beginning of this movie failed to capture my attention and the rest of the movie did nothing to bring me on board. This is 124 minutes of a movie that felt like it was three hours long. Once they finally fell in love and moved to London, I was about ready to be done with the movie. That seemed like a nice little climax. We can tie a pretty bow on that and call it a wrap and all be happy that they lived happily ever after. But no, we still had a second half of a movie to get through.

No, nothing improves in the second half. I was hoping that once we got into the whole drama of Brad Pitt being ordered to kill his wife if what they are thinking is true that we would have a fast-paced movie that left you on the edge of your seat. Nope. That's not the case. Everything is still stretched out and boring as if they had an hour's worth of content that they decided to put into two hours of movie. And the finale is pretty much exactly what you would expect. I won't spoil the movie, but instead I'll speak in code. Once you learn what is going on, there are only two paths that the movie could take. Path 1 and Path 2. Path 1 would make for a really dumb movie, so you know they are going for Path 2. But in Path 2, there seem to be only two options to how the movie could end. Ending 1 and Ending 2. Based on certain reasonings, you get the feeling that Ending 2 is the route they will take. The only thing that is left a secret is the specific Grand Finale. When a movie is supposed to be a thriller, but you can reason with yourself and map things out in your head with a high level of confidence as to what's going to happen and the movie makes no attempt at shock value and instead just kinda slowly goes through the motions, it's really not that exciting of an experience.

I walked out of this movie feeling empty. As I was leaving the theater and going to my car, I asked myself what the point of this movie was. I came up blank. I had no clue. Due to me being behind on my movie reviews, I've actually had two weeks to ponder this movie over. I saw this on opening night, November 22. I put off seeing Moana because of my excitement level for this. Turns out that ended up being a lose-lose situation because neither movie was that great, but this was definitely the worst of the two. After thinking about it for two weeks, I still don't know what the point of this movie was. In fact, not only did nothing come to my mind, but I'm glad I didn't wait too long to review this because I've already almost completely forgotten that this movie existed. Brad Pitt and Marion Collitard do great and have amazing chemistry. The movie does a great job with it's cinematography and visuals and pulling off the 1940's World War II setting. Costume design and set design are excellent. The score was OK. But there's zero substance to this. If you haven't seen this yet, don't bother. Go watch Casablanca again. Or anything else. This is far from the worst movie I've seen this year, but it's not worth paying money for or spending two hours on. I'm giving Allied a 6/10.

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