Aloha – Movie Review

AlohaAloha – PG-13
Release Date: Fri 29 May 2015

Brian Gilcrest (Bradley Cooper) is back in Hawaii where he runs into an ex-love Tracy (Rachel McAdams) while falling for his Air Force liaison Allison (Emma Stone) and working for his former employer, space pioneer and billionaire Carson Welch (Bill Murray.)

The movie has several interconnected plots for Gilcrest to work through. He tries to bury the hatchet with Tracy, but inadvertently starts an argument between Tracy and her husband (John Krasinski) who thinks she still has feelings for him. Allison is immediately enamored with him, and he catches her on the phone gushing about how great he used to be before he was fired and left everyone. He’s also on an increasingly sketchy mission for Welch to ensure that Hawaiian nationalists allow them to launch a satellite from a new base that crosses through their land.

While there are standout scenes and ideas, Aloha is a jumbled mess that falters from the start by forgetting to make Gilcrest likable by the audience. In many early scenes with Allison, she seems completely fascinated by him while all we see is a terse jerk wearing aviator shades. We can’t see his eyes to tell if he’s in pain, if he’s warming to her or if he’s rolling his eyes. The early scenes between him and Tracy are better as there’s a shared history there and he is more apologetic than apathetic.

Bill Murray plays Carson Welch as a quirky rich guy, but because the movie needs a villain this character is revealed to be one. It’s nearly impossible to make Bill Murray unlikable, and so the reverse problem happens here. Where we don’t see what Allison likes about Gilcrest, we can’t help but see Bill Murray instead of the rich, overly ambitious person Carson Welch is supposed to be.

It’s not until the last 15 minutes that the movie starts to come together, and by then you’ve already guessed how it’s going to turn out. If you’ve seen the trailer, you’re likely going to be confused when it turns out the trailer is shown out of order and includes lines that didn’t make the final cut. Things are tied up neatly and all the good guys win.

I don’t recommend it unless you need a really safe, strange date movie in your life.

Cal and I saw it in the theater and had a discussion in the car:


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