Directed by Dominic Burns.
Starring Julian Ovenden, Chris Reilly, Matt Willis, Edmund Kingsley, Leon Vickers and Frank Lebouef.
It is 1944. A group of elite soldiers are called upon to infiltrate enemy lines and capture Nazi strategic plans…
As its title suggests, Allies concentrates on that familiar war drama trope of the brothers in arms comradeship that seems to develop inevitably during intense war time. Following a team of crack troops enlisted for specific operations during conflict and led by a French/American super soldier (the steely eyed Ovenden), the film is an entertaining enough look at life on the frontline.
Containing a decent turn from ex-pop star Willis as a Lahndahn gunner and the ex-footballer Lebouef as an unlikely Resistance leader (who, spoiler alert, lasts all of five minutes) Allies has something of a celebrity TV movie feel about it. This is not to detract from some of the genuinely well worked scenes on show, it is just that the narrative and a few of the performances has a slightly staid approach to them.
Nevertheless, the scenes between the committed main leader (Oveneden) and his broad-speaking second in command (Reilly) are well worked, alternately funny and insightful about the soldier’s experience. An unlikely romantic union between the Scottish lieutenant and a French farmer’s daughter provides a realistic look at the kinds of liaisons that frequent developed under the extreme duress of wartime occupation.
This look at civilian (and armed) Resistance in France during WW2 gives an extra layer of historic value to the drama. Aside from this, much of the actual story is fairly disposable, consisting of stock methods and war time devices. In fact, I think I even heard a Wilhelm scream (look it up!) during one of the battle scenes. Oh well, as a whole, film is a largely likeable project with its heart in the right place and it develops some interesting personable scenes between the main players.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★ ★
Robert W Monk is a freelance journalist and film writer.