Review: Aloha (2015)

Director: Cameron Crowe

Starring: Emma Stone, Bradley Cooper, Rachel McAdams

Release Date: 18th September 2015 (UK)

Cameron Crowe writes a love letter to Hawaii, but no one said this love letter sounded like poetry. Unfortunately Aloha is an underdeveloped and confused story, which isn’t compelling enough to hold your interest. Honestly I don’t remember much about the film other than I couldn’t wait for it to take off – that never happened.

Brian Gilcrest (Bradley Cooper) a military defense contractor who has hit rock bottom both personally and professionally is on assignment (space mission – I believe to launch a new satellite) in Oahu, Hawaii. Brian’s boss, Murray (Carson Welch) wants to militarize the Hawaiian air space and launch a weapons satellite. His assignment is to persuade and gain approval (at least to avoid any complications) from the locals.

Whilst they are on the mission Brian Gilcrest decides to reconnect with an old girlfriend, Tracy Woodside (Rachel McAdams) – they still have unresolved romance issues. Tracy is also now a mother of two married to an Air Force recruit named Woody (John Krasinski).

For this mission Brian’s fighter pilot, Alison Ng is an irritatingly perky lady one minute, smiling and singing with a the traditional Hawaiians, then in the next minute she is uptight and business-like. She makes it her business to make her mission companion Gilcrest (who obviously becomes a love interest) happy.

Aloha has had a lot of negative reviews and they are justified. Crowe has also been accused of “whitewashing Hawaii” as he failed to represent “the Asia-Pacific population of the island”. I can’t help but agree there was hardly any incorporation of the culture apart from a few scenes here and there that felt like they were last-minute thoughts and didn’t really fit into the film.

It felt like there were many stories and unfinished strands packed into the time of one film. Aloha lacked the character development it needed to make the movie whole – or in other words finished. The technical side of things wasn’t any better, everything felt choppy and just a mess – nothing made sense.

I guess the best part of this film is the beautiful and calming Hawaiian scenery, but not even that is enough to make this film less of a waste of time to watch.

There is one thing that we can take from Aloha and that is that good-looking actors can’t help a sinking ship. Crowe is seriously going to have a lot to prove when he makes his next film, it’s unexpected for him to make a flop after his previous successful titles Jerry Maguire (1996) and Almost Famous (2000).


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