Aloha review

Cameron Crowe
Bradley Cooper
Emma Stone
Rachel McAdams
Bill Murray
Danny McBride
John Krasinski
Alec Baldwin
Rated: PG-13

Bradley Cooper plays Brian in “Aloha,” the latest film from Director Cameron Crowe. Brian is a former member of the United States Air Force, however, at the start of the movie he has moved on to working for a weapons and technology developer played by Bill Murray.

Upon his arrival in Hawaii, where he has to convince the local parties to allow a space launch, Brian meets Air Force officer Allison Ng (Stone), who has been ordered to be his guide. The protagonist also runs into his former girlfriend Tracy (McAdams) on the island and drama ensues.

“Aloha” has a lot of things going on in its story, which is fine. What’s not fine is the fact that none of it really fits together. In terms of its plot, “Aloha” feels like a puzzle where the pieces simply don’t fit together.

There’s the main romance between Brian and Allison, there’s the old flame with Tracy, there’s Brian dealing with the local Hawaiians, there’s Brian dealing with the military, there’s Bill Murray’s character trying to send weapons into space and more.

None of these elements go hand-in-hand with each other, in fact, it almost seems like a different movie every time a new sub plot is introduced. The back-and-forth nature in which the film progresses through these stories makes the entire thing seem longer than it actually is. The film is just over 105 minutes, but it feels like two full hours.

When it comes to the protagonist Brian, Crowe seemed to write the character wanting things both ways. Brian is a down on his luck type character, he’s lonely, he lost his girlfriend and he’s had tremendous injuries from battle zones.

That whole side of his character, though, never has a chance to surface because at the same time, Brian is a confident, smooth talking and quick witted type of character, too. It made it very difficult to find any of Cooper’s delivery to be convincing.

Also unconvincing was his on screen romance with Stone’s character Allison. Stone does at least give an energetic performance, it’s brought down a bit, though, simply due to the dialogue not being very strong. It’s the same problem that McAdams had. The acting talent in this film is solid, but the characters they play are dull.

Speaking of McAdams, her character’s husband in the movie, John, played by Krasinski, didn’t talk… for some reason. Literally, the guy had maybe three sentences worth of dialogue.

This was not portrayed as though the character was suffering from a sort of trauma, such as PTSD, it’s simply a character quirk. Maybe the goal was to give the audience something unique, but the whole character comes off as a cheap gimmick.

Another character that just felt entirely out of place, to the point where he probably could have been cut from the movie, was Murray’s character Carson.

Carson is a big business man who wants to put a satellite with missiles into space.

The entire sub plot was an unnecessary attempt to raise the stakes in a romcom.
It was even stranger seeing as how, despite having antagonistic goals, Murray still brought an aloofness to the character which didn’t fit.

“Aloha” is a disappointment. What could have been a cute romcom or an interesting story on redemption just became a complete mess. 1 out of 5.

Author: Matthew Liedke

Journalist and film critic in Minnesota. Graduate of Rainy River College and Minnesota State University in Moorhead. Outside of movies I also enjoy sports, craft beers and the occasional video game.

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