Allied

The selfish Jean.


It's like the magician left the stage, and you're waiting two hours for the busboy to lift up the napkin over the rabbit.
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Reported on 14th of December, 2016

After the slightly less comically reprehensible Arrival, there is nothing new in American exceptionalism in movies. What I call The I, Robot Rule, but is best demonstrated in Saving Private Ryan, this is the feeling that the needs of the one are greater than the many or the few. That’s not not Spock. That’s Churchill. Quoting Spock. He was a notorious plagiarist.

Allied

29 November 2016 @ The Gaumont Rennes


-$2.75 or, if one must be jejune, and one must... 
☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

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We wonder what’s wrong with the world (do we?), but it’s in our movies. War, what is it good for? Providing the meat for stories and movies and tales that justify…War, what is it, oh, I see. Never mind.

But in regards to making a watchable story, there are limits to which one must adhere. I get that movies aren’t real, or rather that reality is a failure to live up to movies, but Allied contains a level of stupid that becomes increasingly hard to ignore.

There is some sex, which only served to make me realize that Allied knows as much about spy movies as 50 Shades knows about porn.
Who doesn't know about porn?

Example 1. Spies are in the business of getting information. Instead CGI ragdoll Brad Pitt is dropped into the desert to kill some dude in CGI Casablanca. This takes about forty-five minutes. There is some sex, which only served to make me realize that Allied knows as much about spy movies as 50 Shades knows about porn.

Who doesn’t know about porn?

After much standing around, they reveal that they’re going to kill some guy. Instead of killing him any other way, which they shouldn’t be doing anyway, Mr. Pitt and Mlle. Marion Cotillard go to the embassy reception where there are lots of witnesses and no chance to get away and kill him there.

One might say that this is just a pretext for the poster to show them in high fashion 1940s clothing with old-timey guns. This is both entirely too generous and entirely correct.

But in addition to this, it’s so the old ‘what are the chances we might survive this mission’ conversation can take place. Never tell me the odds. No, I’m serious here. It barely reaches the level of parody of a cliché. If I hear it one more time, I’ll flashback to my father who never gave me love.

I’ll do it.

Having survived, they do what any successful spies would. They move back to England, get married and have a baby.

Hey, that’s example 2!

Example 3. Spies are in the business of getting information. Yeah, I said that before, but the movie didn’t hear me. See, Mlle. Marion Cotillard ‘turns out’ to be a spy. Pro-tip to the writers: this is the only way that the story can go once they move back to England to do nothing.

Mr. Pitt is asked to kill her to demonstrate his loyalty. Obviously we wanted that scene in the movie to create tension, which leads us to…

Example 4. War (movies) is (are) about sacrifice. Let’s take these flimsy half-remembered conceits at their face, that you don’t run spies, or follow them, or feed them false information to their network, or pretty much anything but kill them. No, you kill them. Sure. Why not.

But in order to confirm whether or not Mlle. Cotillard is a spy (she has to be, because the story has nowhere else to go), Mr. Pitt wants to confirm it which he does by sending a guy to Dieppe to talk to a dude that knew her. Oh, yeah….

Example 5. There were no nightly flights from England to Dieppe…and back…to provide materiel to the French resistance. This is because there was some event happening between the countries at some point in history, who remembers what.

Example 6. There were no nightly flights from England to Dieppe…and back…to provide materiel to the French resistance. Yeah, I said that before, but they do it twice. This is not just a story that doesn’t know what spies do, but one that doesn’t seem to understand the nature of physical space.

Some other in the theater bonuses, and reasons why I don't see films on tape if I can help it. 1) Got to see Toyota Hybrid as our hero...Darth Vader. It's what we knew all along. 2) Creepy guy sat right behind me in a near empty theater. He laid out his pile of stuff and was briefly was distracted by the smell of kabob. Then, cologne, which was an insouciant mix of BO and spice! Still, better than the film.

Some other in the theater bonuses, and reasons why I don’t see films on tape if I can help it. 1) Got to see Toyota Hybrid as our hero…Darth Vader. It’s what we knew all along. 2) Creepy guy sat right behind me in a near empty theater. He laid out his pile of stuff and I was briefly was distracted by the smell of kabob. Then, cologne, which was an insouciant mix of BO and spice. Still, better than the film.

Once confirmed, Mr. Pitt has racked up a sizable body count, all to learn that she is a spy.

Spoiler alert…to the writers. The idea that Ms. Cotillard is a spy (she is, by the way) could never be a spoiler.

And so back to war movies, and our sea change from the Forty Graves to Cairo and or Dirty Dozens or Sands of Iwo Jima, which provide 1,000,000,052 examples. Math joke!  The one dilemma that war movies provide – sacrifice for your buddies/country/a cute doggie – is now removed.

As the camera moves to close up of the baby of these moral douchebags, I dreamed of another movie where it was revealed…it was the baby that was the spy!

This is a much better movie, but it is also true. Allied is set in 2016 the way The Great Gatsby is really an historical document of the 1970s. In this film, the baby is time-traveling from the future it has as an adolescent with her daddy Mr. Pitt. Having successfully completed her mission with no one the wiser, she walks idyllically in the mountains and dappled sunlight, the future everyone says they want, but always winds up as the end of a movie, and not its subject.

The point of the very very contemporary Allied is that the outcome of the war should be risked and many should die…for the baby. Whether or not those that died themselves had children is something only a spy would know. And we killed all of those.

The Take

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Profits!
I had time to kill in Rennes, and saw it largely because La Fille de Brest was so sucky. At least it wasn’t La Fille de Brest?
$1.00
I totally forgot. The anachronistic lesbians, a relationship presented without comment in 1940s wartime Britain. Sometimes not knowing anything about history, human nature, drama or the existence of objects in space is awesome!
$1.00

There is a protracted scene wherein Mr. Pitt must wait for a phone call to send bad information to Mlle. Cotillard. I’m not sure if Mr. Zemeckis understands, but it’s not Hitchcockian to wait for something to happen, and then…have it happen.

In any case, not knowing if she’s a spy (she is), they have sex, and in my version of the film, it’s something that’s never been done in a Hollywood film: a believable hate-fuck. Probably been done in porn. Your takeaway: You need to watch more porn.

$1.25
Total Profits
$3.25
Losses!
The story as such is based on the conceit over whether or not she is or isn’t a spy (she is). It’s like the magician left the stage, and you’re waiting two hours for the busboy to lift up the napkin over the rabbit.
$6.00
Total Losses
$6.00

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