Aloha follows the story of a celebrated military contractor (Bradley Cooper) as he returns to the site of his greatest career triumphs and re-connects with a long-ago love (Rachel McAdams) while unexpectedly falling for the hard-charging Air Force watchdog (Emma Stone) assigned to him.
My first issue with Aloha was that I couldn’t figure out what story director Cameron Crowe was actually trying to tell. From the description above you might expect a drama leaning towards the ‘Chick Flick’ category. From what I witnessed, the story jumped from drama to awkward comedy several times without a natural flow and there were many scenes which were just downright bizarre. It ends up being less about Brian Gilcrest’s (Cooper) messy relationships and more about the wealthy Carson Welch (Bill Murray) trying to launch weaponised satellites. Interestingly enough Hawaiians feature very little in this movie set in Hawaii.
The cast was definitely the main reason I decided to give ‘Aloha’ a go, and without it, this movie may have been intolerable. John Krasinski was a definite highlight, providing random comic relief here and there as the strong and silent John Woodside (they actually had subtitles explaining his actions). He also towered over Bradley Cooper and made him look pretty weeny which is also a plus (I’m not a huge Cooper fan). To be fair, Bradley Cooper did a decent job as Brian Gilcrest (although the character is hardly what you’d call a challenging role) especially in a particularly touching scene near the end which I won’t ruin for you (it’s super cute).
The role of Tracy Woodside was definitely nothing new for Rachel McAdams – the slightly quirky girl who speaks her mind. I’ll be holding out for season 2 of True Detective to hopefully see a new side to her. Emma Stone’s character Allison Ng was uptight and over the top to begin with, but seemed to completely change personalities after a particularly weird sequence involving rustling trees…
I feel like Aloha was taken in too many directions for any particular one to truly hit home. There were certainly enjoyable moments – Bill Murray crowning Emma stone with a small light up Christmas tree while dancing was certainly a thing to behold and the silent manly conversation between Bradley Cooper and John Krasinski was undeniably adorable… but overall Aloha didn’t find its feet.
Rating: PG Coarse language.