RELEASED: 2015, May
GENRE: Comedy, Drama, Romance
DURATION: 105 min(s)
DIRECTOR: Cameron Crowe
ACTORS: Bradley Cooper, Rachel McAdams, Emma Stone
PLOT: Brian Gilcrest (Bradley Cooper) is a military contractor with a history of success. After an incident overseas, he returns to the site of his greatest achievements, Hawaii, to attempt to sway a multibillionaire to fund his latest work. In paradise though lies an ex-lover Tracy Woodside (Rachel McAdams) whose past runs deep and a new, eager Captain Allison Ng (Emma Stone) who is interested in Gilcrest. What will happen?
ACTORS’ PERFORMANCE: With a cast like this you can expect some decent acting for the 105 minutes. Cooper leads the cast playing the greedy contractor with the troubled past and does so especially well. He sold me that he was a man who was confused on so many levels, weighing love interests against work to attempt to make him happy. I felt drawn into his thoughts, able to understand his mind and emotions during most of the movie. As for McAdams, she falls back into the drama/romance role we’ve seen in movies like The Vow and The Time Traveler’s Wife. She knows how to cry, sigh, and play the vulnerable woman role, so if you like that style you’ll find no fault in her role here. As for Stone, not my favorite of her work. Whether due to the director or her acting, Stone was too energetic and silly for my liking as a love interest/air force captain. I found her character too forced on me, she was trying too hard to be funny and more annoyed than entertained. Her sincere sides were quite touching, but they didn’t come often enough to offset her more annoying qualities.
SCENES: Aloha’s scenes are very simplistic, lacking any real special effects or wonder. Camera work does a nice job of getting the best emotion out of a scene, while still maximizing screen time of the beautiful landscape they are in. They also have some moments where the culture of the locals is brought to life, with customs, music, and dancing combined to get a taste of paradise.
LIKED: As you read up top, the acting is one of the best parts of this movie. Cooper really takes the blunt of the quality, and through his acting you have an interest in his life…somewhat. For the comedy portion, I did like some of the wit and presentation of the jokes, despite some lines being a bit forced. Yet my absolute favorite part is the music of this movie. The soundtrack is diverse ranging from ukulele covers of songs to classic songs across the decade, and in truth kept me awake at certain parts of the movie. Outside of this… not much else I can say I liked.
DISLIKED: Aloha has three story elements that are taking place over the course of the movie, but only two of them really worked together. The romantic triangle between Gilcrest, Ng, and Woodside was like a bad and less funny version of Archie comics, over emotional drama being the core of it. I was bored, and I felt that Woodside got put to the side until Ng left the picture. The plot moved like molasses, and the revelations weren’t that shocking due to their predictability and soap opera like components. Looking at the work plot line… it was a very weird and ambiguous tale that was so abstract that it felt out of place in the whole scheme. It was supposed to add some drive and tension, but it’s integration didn’t do it for me. Which brings me to my next point, the editing. While the scenes are pretty, some could have been chopped to help speed things up, or at least replaced with some more exciting scenes. Some of the other big named actors also could have used some more time in the plot, maybe to provide better laughs, or perhaps even to play better antagonists. Whatever way it was done, surely it would have been an improvement over some of the decisions in this movie.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Aloha was not what I expected to be, and in truth felt like a rushed product of pieced plot lines and genres with some forced comedy. Those who absolutely love overdramatic romance, or can appreciate artistic, symbolic cinema are going to be the ideal audience for this movie. My recommendation is to skip this film though, and save it for renting or television. Sorry fans, but this movie just doesn’t cover the intended audience I think it sought.
My scores are:
Comedy/Drama/Romance: 6.0-6.5 (for drama and romance)
Movie Overall: 6.0