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Review: Aloha

7 min read
Bradley Cooper and Emma Stone star in Columbia Pictures' "Aloha"

Making a film is a collaborative form of work that takes a vast amount of effort from most of the people involved in putting them together before they’re released to the masses. Because of this, cooperation is imperative, but it’s ultimately going to be put in the hands of a director in order to fit it all together. For a movie like Aloha, that feat appears to be far more difficult than usual since the director doesn’t look to have a specific goal in mind.

The film follows Brian Gilcrest (Bradley Cooper), a defense contractor who returns to the site of his greatest triumphs. While back in town, Gilcrest manages to reconnect with a love from his past (Rachel McAdams) and meet up with Allison Ng (Emma Stone), an Air Force pilot assigned to watch him. While he’s only supposed to be here for big business, he finds himself falling in love with what Hawaii has to offer him this time around.

Aloha is all over the place and never looks at the possibility of utilizing one of its many stories as its primary centerpiece. As a matter of fact, they never really even stop introducing new stories and subplots into the picture until the credits are about to role. Adding new features this far along is certainly abnormal for any form of entertainment, and helps in making the film continuously feel unsettled and directionless.

Because of this and it’s overall lack of structure, it turns out to be one of the messiest and unorganized movies that anyone will ever bare witness to. It’s so unfocused that it’s hard to see what the thought process was during its creation. You’ll notice that it wants to be a lighthearted love story and a family movie surrounded by an awkward love triangle with a touch of espionage attached to it at some points.

There’s a part of me that wonders if there’s a better film lying around on someone’s cutting room floor. I mean, the characters are likable, the environment is nice to look at, but there’s just too much going on while it manages to somehow never really say anything. I have a feeling that there’s a five hour film somewhere that we’ll never get to see that could have done a better job at telling whatever story that’s trying to be told. Then again, the extended version could actually be worse.

The portions of the film that include Rachel McAdams and Bill Murray probably should have been left out of Aloha. They don’t really add anything that could be considered necessary, and getting rid of these characters would have provided more coherency and structure to it all that’s being showcased. Unfortunately, they wouldn’t do such a thing because of who a guy like Bill Murray in the industry. He’s obviously a great actor with the type of status most people in his field of work would want from a professional standpoint, so cutting him could be seen as a waste of his presence to many behind the scenes.

In the end, Aloha is just a complete disappointment that’s only able to somehow make Hawaii seem like a vapid place that no one would have any interest in going to. For us, there’s no reason to watch this film unless there are actors involved that you are fans of. For the actors, the only positives from this are their paychecks and the chance to say that they got to work with one another and Cameron Crowe. Other than that, I’m sure they would probably regret signing on for this. It’s certainly not something anyone would want to brag about having on their resumé.

Rating: R

Director: Cameron Crowe

Bradley Cooper
Emma Stone
Rachel McAdams
Bill Murray
Danny McBride
John Krasinski
Alec Baldwin
Jaeden Lieberher
Danielle Rose Russell

Film Length: 105 minutes

Release Date: May 29, 2015

Distributor: Columbia Pictures

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