Starring: Bradley Cooper, Emma Stone, Rachel McAdams, John Krasinki, Bill Murray, Danny McBride, Alec Baldwin, Jaeden Lieberher
Directed By: Cameron Crowe
Let’s just all agree to call this “Cameron Crowe really wanted a trip to Hawaii, and a movie studio to pay for it.” Cause, I can’t imagine anyone actually read this script. I think the film was greenlit on all the goodwill that Crowe had built up over the years (Guess what? It’s gone. You used up all your frequent flyer miles.) and the stars all wanted a free trip to Hawaii. There are points in the film where Bradley Cooper and Bill Murray look like they are trying not to laugh while spouting these horrificly pretentious monologues that don’t make any sense. What the fuck is Bill Murray talking about? He randomly starts spouting something about the future, when his girlfriend/reporter/underdeveloped hot friend asks him a question.
There’s been a lot of hubbub about Emma Stone playing an “Asian-American”. By her admission in the film, she’s only 1/4th Hawaiian, so calm down. They’re not trying to put her in Memoirs Of A Geisha. And for what it’s worth, Emma Stone goes balls to the wall in her performance here. It’s like she’s mainlining red bull. Full commitment. She was probably the only person who believed they were making a movie and not a vacation photo album. It’s not that Aloha is entirely plotless, it’s just that the film is so poorly directed that it can’t bear to explain the plot, or develop the characters, or really do much of anything. Bradley Cooper screwed something up in the past, but that’s super vague until late in the movie where it becomes slightly less vague, and now he’s in Hawaii because his contractor boss wants to build a gate, but they need to move an ancient burial ground, so they need the blessing of the King of Hawaii? Oh, and Rachel McAdams is his ex, and Emma Stone is really cute. That’s the plot of Aloha.
Danny McBride’s character fidgets a lot, really for no apparent reason. He’s given the nickname ‘fingers’, but it all seems like a weak attempt at character development. Baldwin has no character development. Murray’s character is lost in a sea of weird dialogue and pointless monologues. The best character is Krasinski, who “doesn’t talk” (except when he does). His decision not to talk actually pays off in the movies best (and really only great scene).
I wanted to walk out. That’s the cue for a truly bad movie, is your desire to be anywhere but in the theatre at that moment. Cameron Crowe squandered the talent of some very wonderful rising stars and just got to enjoy a vacation in Hawaii. That’s all nice, but… next time, at least have someone attempt to edit your mess of a film into something coherent. It felt so oddly out of place at times, I felt like I was watching a string of B-takes.
The only good that comes out of this is that I can say I enjoyed John Krasinki, a lot, and Emma Stone really went full force into her role. Everything else? Skip Aloha. Aloha and goodbye right out of the theatre. This is currently my pick for worst film of 2015.
FINAL GRADE: D-