Review: Aloha (2015)


There was a time when Cameron Crowe actually knew how to make good movies but ever since he won an Oscar for Almost Famous he seems to have lost his groove. Vanilla Sky, Elizabethtown and We Bought A Zoo were all disappointments but Aloha is perhaps the biggest misfire of Crowe’s career and there were times in this movie when I was asking myself if the guy who wrote movies like Say Anything, Jerry Maguire and Almost Famous actually wrote this thing.

While on assignment in Oahu, Hawaii, military contractor Brian Gilcrest (Bradley Cooper) reconnects with his old flame Tracy Woodside (Rachel McAdams), now married to an Air Force recruit (John Krasinski). He also spends time with Allison Ng (Emma Stone), a hard-nosed fighter pilot who watches every move that he makes. As they travel throughout the lush terrain, Brian finds himself falling for his feisty guide, while his conversations with Tracy may provide a shocking revelation from their past.

Bradley Cooper;Emma Stone;Rachel McAdams

Aloha is a movie that tries to be more clever than it actually is and ends up being a mess of these ideas that could have been something if they were explored properly. There is so much stuff in this movie that feels hopelessly contrived and forced and things simply don’t amalgamate together the way they should which leave you feeling weird. I mean I literally had a poker face for the most part of this movie. The movie is full of these random scenes that just feel out-of-place, its poorly edited and the dialogue is without doubt the worst I’ve heard in any Cameron Crowe movie. I really had a hard time believing what these characters were saying. One of the biggest disappointments of this movie for me though was Emma Stone, who at times was the worst thing about this movie. It’s surprising how annoying her character was in this because up until now I’ve loved her in everything I’ve seen her in. She is given some of the worst lines in the entire film and what’s even worse is that she has absolutely no chemistry with her co-star Bradley Cooper who she is supposed to be romantically involved with.

Bradley Cooper;Alec Baldwin

Keeping Stone aside a lot of the film’s talented cast is wasted as well. Okay so Alec Baldwin is there to deliver a couple of, maybe three monologues but what about Bill Murray, John Krasinski and Rachel McAdams? Well they’re wasted. It’s disappointing how less Bill Murray has to do in this movie and John Krasinski who can be play that charming and oddly funny guy very well just isn’t given enough lines. In fact the whole point of his character is that he rarely speaks. Rachel McAdams does more, I guess but her entire sub-plot with Bradley Cooper’s character is poorly developed and then there’s this weird arc about the spirituality of Hawaii that is supposed to make you sentimental. It simply doesn’t work, rather adds to the awkward vibe this movie consistently exhibits.

Despite all these drawbacks Aloha isn’t a terrible movie by any standards and it definitely has it’s fair share of good moments, moments that remind you that this movie was in fact written by Cameron Crowe. I actually think that the movie gets better as the run-time progresses and towards the end you kinda wonder why they didn’t hit all these notes earlier but unfortunately it’s not enough to save the movie and by then you’re likely to have already checked out. I also think Bradley Cooper is very good in this movie. He is by far the highlight of the film and not only does he offer a very good performance but his character is the only character I could really care about at the end.

All in all though, Aloha is a pretty forgettable movie. It’s one of those movies that you’re probably gonna have an okay time watching but when it ends you’re going to decide never to see it again. The movie has some nice moments and Bradley Cooper does his best but the inconsistent and incoherent script really lets the film down and the film’s talented cast is largely wasted. Cameron Crowe, you better get your shit straight or I might just give up on you.




17 responses to “Review: Aloha (2015)

  1. I still want to see this but I feel like I’ll be depressed out of my mind seeing a filmmaker I love do something like this. I will always hold out hope he’ll give us another Almost Famous or Jerry Maguire someday. Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I watched the first ten minutes of Aloha and couldn’t endure any more. I think you’re absolutely spot-on about the dialogue being one of the worst parts about it (it was the worst part of my very brief experience anyway). I just couldn’t buy into what these people were saying. Not to mention, the scenes that I did watch were kind of offensive.

    But I’ve seen this movie getting absolutely trashed by other critics so it’s nice to see your review being a little bit more considerate of its good elements.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Tom. I first saw those ten minutes too. I think the studio released it about two months ago and it didn’t feel right. I wanted to see if the movie would actually get better but as you can see that didn’t happen.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Already, this film is right now the worst film I saw this year. It was horrible. I hated every second of it. I hated how contrived it was and the fact that almost the entire movie had music to accompany everything. Plus, I think there was a longer film somewhere but either the studios, Crowe, or both of them did something and it turned out to be extremely bad. If I ever come across Crowe one of these days. I’d like to beat the shit out of him for making that piece of shit. I had no choice but to kill that film. And I loved that man.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, I just hated how they had to have this Hawaiian music with every scene, it was so distracting. And yeah it was overly forced, It made me hate Emma Stone, a feat I didn’t think any movie could accomplish.
      Crowe really needs to rethink what he’s doing.


      • What I would do is this… take away all of Crowe’s music collection and not have him use music for anything. The second thing for him is top stop making characters with a sense of idealism. They’re unrealistic and full of shit. He really needs to take a lot of time off and re-think everything he needs to do. What he did was just lazy and poor filmmaking.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I agree but I think he just needs to go back to his earlier work that made him famous in the first place. Say Anything, Jerry Maguire and Almost Famous are all films that have memorable characters, endlessly quotable dialogue and some great music.


      • Yeah but…. when he did that for Elizabethtown, it turned against him. He needs to find something that is new and needs to take big risks. He can’t rely on songs all the time to drive the film.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I suppose you’re right. He’s got a new series coming up on Showtime called Roadies and it’s supposedly centered around a Rock and Roll band, so it will be interesting to see how it turns out.
        I just hope he doesn’t get too fixated on remaking Almost Famous in a new way.
        Looks like he’s not moving away from music anytime soon


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