Aloha (Cameron Crowe, 2015)
A celebrated military contractor returns to the site of his greatest career triumphs and reconnects with a long-ago love while unexpectedly falling for the hard-charging Air Force watch-dog assigned to him.
The setting : Hawaii. The cast : Bradley Cooper, Emma Stone, Rachel McAdams, John Krasinski, Bill Murray, Alec Baldwin. The director : Cameron Crowe. Well, what could possibly go wrong? As much as a new Cameron Crowe film makes us wish for a return into his top form of his Almost Famous days or just his Say Anything inspiration, it would be something very very nice.
However, it was not the case with Elizabethtown and it is not even slightly a possibility with Aloha. The story of Brian (Cooper) who is hired by the US army to make a deal possible with the native Hawaiians to permit a civilian space center to be established by Bill Murray’s character is absolute non-sense and even not an issue here. Since the story is so wrecked apart this element brings a slice of complexity on a film that cripples and to give it such a heavy plot line is just too much. Banking on the series of successes by the star power of Bradley Cooper and Emma Stone was a wrong idea since they seemed to have played their scenes separated. As if, Stone was left in Hollywood to save time and budget and both stars just seemed to be isolated from one another. No chemistry and not even a real sense of connection. This love story is just not there.
In fact, there are so many plot issues that I think it doesn’t need to be written. It would be to give them too much importance. Just as Alexander Payne’s Hawaiian success of The Descendants with George Clooney was a nice mix of the native’s culture, Aloha is like the complete opposite. I like Emma Stone, but she is not a native and don’t even try to make me believe this.
Overall, Aloha is like a big flop from start to end and sadly even the gentle comedy didn’t help to save the movie from being a terrible mess. As much as Crowe has impressed with his early films and especially his masterpiece Almost Famous, he is just not there anymore and sadly seemed to have lost his writing and directing touch. It brings us to ask one question when an early bird like him writing interviews with legendary rock stars have burned him up and emptied his tank.