“Being Good At This Job Isn’t Very Beautiful…”
Brad Pitt. Marion Cotillard. Robert Zemeckis. Add into the mix screenwriter Steven Knight, best known for Eastern Promises and Peaky Blinders alongside a range of lesser work such as Burnt and last years’ unbelievably dire Seventh Son, and Allied could be regarded as a much anticipated meeting of the majestic, with all factors of the film’s main quartet being able to hit full stride when needed. Unfortunately for Zemeckis and co,. Allied isn’t exactly a work of cinematic art, in fact, it is far from it, with the film’s impressively strong beginning being offset by a shabby middle and end, alongside some strange plot decisions and an ending so fluffy it wouldn’t be amiss in a Disney movie. As for the film’s narrative, Allied follows the relationship of Max (Pitt) and Marianne (Cotillard) who fall in love after their success during a mission within German-occupied Morocco in the height of the second world war. After returning to London, Max is told some grave news regarding his recently wed wife, grave news which shakes his life to the core.
As is the perils of modern day cinema, if you’ve seen the trailer for Allied, which wouldn’t be much of a surprise seeing how it seems to be absolutely everywhere at the moment, you’ve basically seen the majority of the film, albeit the movie’s climax, a climax which isn’t entirely much of a shocker in itself, and this is a fundamental issue regarding the film’s overall quality. IF the big reveal wasn’t blasted at the audience before they’d even set foot into the cinema, maybe the attraction of Allied would have been less so but this may have been made up for in terms of shock factor when the reveal was made in the actual film. Who knows, and more importantly, who cares. Allied isn’t the best work to come from the likes of Robert Zemeckis, the man behind fantastic work such as Back to the Future and Forest Gump, and instead is rooted somewhere between the likes of What Lies Beneath and The Walk. A solid, if rather hokey, thriller sums up Allied but hey, hokey is good sometimes.
Overall Score: 6/10
“We Are Going Out With A Show People Will Never Forget…”
Remember when the BBC had Hustle? Yeah, that’s right, that show about a gang of street-wise tricksters who would con rich bad guys out of a lot of dollar in order to give credence to their own illegal activities starring Marc Warren and that other guy who I haven’t seen since. Picture Hustle but made by Channel 5 and mixed in with a large percentage of post-2000 Scooby Doo and that is pretty much a solid summary of events that take place in Now You See Me 2, the sequel to the 2013 magic-come-crime drama which not one person wanted aside from the Hollywood machine who saw it as yet another chance to make a quick buck starring an unbelievable rafter of A-List stars such as Mark Ruffalo, Morgan Freeman, Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson and a whole lot more who are more than willing to pick up the cheque and walk out of the door, leaving behind a script in which I can guarantee not one person thought would be the next Citizen Kane and instead is the pinnacle of CGI-fuelled vileness in which Hollywood decides to keeps on churning out year after year. Seem harsh? I haven’t even started yet.
Carrying straight on from the first film, Now You See Me 2 gives us another chance to witness our beloved thieves get up to no good whilst accomplishing feats of magic which look so out of this world and over the top you wouldn’t be surprised to find out that after all this time The Horseman are actually a band of Avenger-like vigilantes, each with their own special ability to enhance the ridiculousness of their acts. I mean come on, if the film wanted to embrace a sense of authenticity, then surely the unbelievable acts of so called magic in which CGI plays a major part of, should have been replaced for magic tricks that were kept in the realms of plausibility? Not only are the magic stunts ridiculous but so is the plot, with it one, not making any sense whatsoever (Just look at Morgan Freeman’s bipolar character swings), two, having the cheesiest of cheesy acting (Daniel Radcliffe, I’m looking at you) and three, taking home the award for most annoying screen character of the year in the form of Woody Harrelson’s twin baddie who is simply awful, awful, awful. Did I mention he was awful?
Adding to the elite awfulness of the movie is a sense of sanctimonious film-making, with the scriptwriters seemingly believing they are in fact the 21st century incarnations of Hitchcock himself, but when deciphering the movie’s twists and turns throughout the painfully long two hour plus running time, Now You See Me 2 really doesn’t make one bit of sense whatsoever. For example, if the world believes Daniel Radcliffe’s character is dead, how has no-one not seen him in his enormous, luxury ridden flat-pad in the middle of a thriving city? How does a key card that supposedly rips into the heart of every single computer system look so flimsy and easily mistaken for a fake? Why does Morgan Freeman’s character seemingly take a 180 degree turn towards the end of the movie? I surely can’t be alone in my criticism’s towards Now You See Me 2, a vacuous slum of a movie which will indeed test your patience from the first minute and leave you with a sense of injustice when you leave. The only magic trick accomplished in going to see Now You See Me 2 was when I paid money to see it but hey, at least it isn’t Gods of Egypt.