ALOHA – REVIEW

Aloha is the latest film from writer/director Cameron Crowe. With an all-star cast, this romantic dramedy is set amongst the beautiful landscape of Hawaii. Surely there’s a lot of things going for this movie, so, is it any good?

No

Aloha stars Bradley Cooper as Brian Gilcrest, an ex-military, now private contractor who returns to Hawaii to help a millionaire (Bill Murray) launch a privately funded rocket. Upon his return he crosses paths with both an old flame (Rachel McAdams) and a sparky Fighter Pilot (Emma Stone). Whilst on paper, this sounds like its a winner, Aloha is filled with both unlikable characters and a ton of unnecessary and unfufilling subplots, some of which reach no real conclusion or have any real payoff. Honestly, there is about 3 interesting plots of films within Aloha, I just wish Cameron Crowe had stuck to one of them!

It’s amazing to me the calibre of the cast that signed on to this film – basically everybody you love in Hollywood – as surely the script they read was as messy on paper as it ended up being on film. As the lead, Bradley Cooper’s Brian is kind of bland in a role that I don’t think was clearly defined. His character has a history of kind of being a jerk, and the first 2/3 of the film I found him to follow suit. Emma Stone is clearly the highlight of the film. Her intensity and sincerity shine through in all her scenes (as she continues to do in most movies!). These two represent the core romantic relationship in the film, and generally it helps more than one of these characters are likable! I did enjoy the short appearances of both Alec Baldwin and Danny McBride as the comic relief but it almost felt forced every time they showed up to lighten the mood

Subplots regarding Hawaiian Mythology and the sovereign nation of Hawaii are interesting, but disappointingly don’t pay off anywhere. Rachel McAdam’s character, and her relationship with Bradley Cooper didn’t sit well with me and the subplot surrounding her husband and family could have been spun off into their own movie. What really blew me away was the turn involving Bill Murray’s character in the 3rd act. Its an absolutely crazy aboutface, and something that belongs in a certain spy franchise rather than this romantic comedy. It’s completely unnecessary and just really strange.

The Hawaiian locations throughout the movie make it easy on the eyes, and tries to show the ‘real, working’ Hawaii rather than the tropical paradise of other films, but in this case, I felt this was better represented in ‘The Descendants’. Cameron Crowe continues his tradition of strong soundtracks, which will please the music lovers in the audience.

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I was in the minority in our group that saw Aloha, with 3 out of 4 liking it. From this reviewers standpoint, Aloha’s biggest issue is that it is purely forgettable, an out of place misfire from the talent both on the screen and off. This movie will have its audience, but in a crowded summer , Aloha really could have been a huge win for those not interested action/superhero movies. Instead it gets lost in the maze of its own screenplay, and never gets out.

Aloha is now playing in cinemas across Australia

 

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