Movie Review: Aloha – Stone Over Acts, Cooper Under Acts, And Murray Only Shines In Comedic Scenes

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Despite its heavy marketing campaign, it appears that Cameron Crowe’s latest rom-com has flopped at the box office. I’m starting to think Crowe’s heyday was the late 90s, early 2000s, with films like Jerry McGuire and Say Anything. I have a feeling Vanilla Sky might have broken him, because I haven’t seen anything worthwhile come from him in a very long time.

Aloha is the final anchor pulling him into his downward spiral.

In present day Hawaii, with absolutely no Hawaiian people, Bradley Cooper plays Brian Gilcrest, a defense contractor who has returned to Hawaii for a space program job. Rachel McAdams plays Tracy, his former lady love who is now married to pilot Woody (John Krasinski). Just because, they dump in another love interest Allison Ng (Emma Stone) who is his Air Force handler. At first they don’t get along, then he decides to team up with her to stop evil mastermind Carson Welch (Bill Murray) who is there to launch a weapons satellite.

Yeah, that’s right. At the last minute, it gets really, really weird and turns into some kind of action thriller over a rom com. It’s like two short scripts crammed together for the purpose of making a movie and it didn’t work.

Despite the star studded cast, no one really pulls through in their rolls. Stone over acts, Cooper under acts, and Murray only shines in the comedic scenes, coming off as ridiculous when it comes to more dramatic moments.

I had no idea why Rachel McAdams was even there. It felt like she was just the requisite lab coat wearing love interest, but then you throw in Stone, and there’s no reason for the love interest. Too many characters were trying to be balanced when less would have done the job.

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It feels like Crowe was trying to do something similar to A Foreign Affair, the 1948 romance that managed to balance a cynical look at the black market in post war Germany, with a lighthearted romance. The problem is, Crowe doesn’t seem to have Billy Wilder’s cynicism, and it comes through when the bad guy comes off as incredibly cartoonish.

Crowe used to know his way around a rom-com. He used to be able to balance the nefarious with the sweetness and light of a perfect couple. Like in Say Anything, where he hooked up the uptight girl, with the requisite bad boy, then gummed up the works by turning her dad into a guy who steals from disabled old people.

Aloha doesn’t have that seamless transition. It doesn’t have enough edge to truly pull off the darker parts of the film and it doesn’t have the chemistry to make people watch it for the romance. It’s just a messy, forgettable effort.

This is not going to be the career highlight for anyone involved in the project. Much like I imagine Tom Cruise flinches when someone mentions Vanilla Sky, Cooper will flinch when someone mentions Aloha. It’s just not worth the watch.

WE GAVE IT: 2 Stars – Watch the Official Trailer and Official Movie Poster below!

2 Stars

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Aloha official movie poster