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Stars: Brad Pitt, Marion Cotillard, Jared Harris, Daniel Betts, Lizzy Caplan, Simon McBurney, Matthew Goode, Anton Lesser

Director: Robert Zemeckis

Allied is a dull and often boring WW2 melodrama whose brief bursts of action, although well staged, barely lessen the tedium.

In one of the film's few original touches, a pair of legs appear at the top of its opening shot, followed by the attached body and a parachute. This is Max, a stolid Canadian (stolidly played by Pitt), who's being dropped into French Morocco in 1942, where he will team up with French Resistance worker Marianne (Cotillard) in a mission to kill high officials in Casablanca.

They visit the Rivoli and other nightspots in the plan to camouflage their real purpose (though there's no sign of Rick's Café Americain, which must have been on the other side of town). And, of course, they fall in love, having writhing, soft-focus sex in a sandstorm. .

A year later, mission accomplished, they're back in London, married and with baby on the way, the infant getting born during the height of a German air raid on their hospital.

Then comes a bombshell, which casts Max into the throes of doubt about the authenticity of everything that has happened. In fact, the film might have been called Suspicion if Hitchcock hadn't nicked the title decades earlier.

And where is Humphrey Bogart when you need him? Seriously though, Bogey would have been so much better than the immobile Pitt, and might even have saved the whole clichéd disaster. To be fair, it must be added that Cotillard is very good, in what is pretty much a lost cause from the beginning.

David Quinlan

USA/Canada 2016. UK Distributor: Paramount. Technicolor.
124 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 1, Swearing 2.

Review date: 21 Nov 2016