Assassinations can be an aphrodisiac. After a dramatic shoot out, something that looks quite over the top and unbelievable, they are not pursued at all by the Germans. This seems quite mysterious, until we are distracted by the next scene, which shifts abruptly to London, where the two fall in love and get married.
The film is beautifully shot and the recreation of wartime London, with nightly sirens and falling bombs, is well art directed. So is the ambience where life is uncertain, a time when food rationing never ends, with the dingy war office where Max works, designed like a dark wine cellar. Even the traditional English pubs are depressing.
Max and Marianne now have a baby girl. But, strangely, the relationship between husband and wife has no texture to it. Brad Pitt is as stiff as a board in this movie. He seems to have ceased exuding his natural charm and the chemistry between him and Marion Cotillard, as a result, does not create any fission. It is all cut and dry and made to order.
So though the film does eventually head towards a denouement which is as heart wrenching as it can get, and though the script does illuminate the horror of being compelled to choose between your personal life and your flag, characters do not have substance in 'Allied'. In the classic that this film frequently references, 'Casablanca', it was the bit parts; the people desperate to get out of Casablanca, like the corrupt police officer, the barman and the piano player, who made the movie work.
Here, the minor characters in London, are as dull as door knobs. This leaves us with the lead actors, who, for reasons unexplained, just do not deliver.