Friday, May 29, 2015

Aloha Review

Ever since I heard that Cameron Crowe had a new movie coming out, I was really excited to see it. It was initially supposed to come out at the end of last year before it was rescheduled for this weekend and went a long while without having a title. It was just "Cameron Crowe Untitled." But I was still excited for it mainly because Cameron Crowe's last movie, We Bought a Zoo, hit me in all the right places emotionally and thus I was excited to see what he had up his sleeve next. Plus the movie had Emma Stone, Bradley Cooper, and Bill Murray in it. That's three of my favorite actors all in the same movie together with a director I've come to enjoy. Can't go wrong, can you? Ummmm... think again. One of the worst movie-going experiences is when you go into a movie that you are really excited for and have it turn out as a disaster. Unfortunately that happened to me with Aloha.

What's Aloha even about? Yeah, that's the problem here. I was wondering why it took them so long to give this movie a title and now I know why. How do you sum this movie up in one title? It's kind of all over the place. The simple answer as to what it's about is this guy has a messed up life where nothing has gone right and for one reason or another, he ends up in Hawaii on some sort of mission thing. Don't ask me what that is because they gave a somewhat complicated introduction to the story at the beginning that went right over my head. Even after finishing the movie I was trying to figure out what in the heck was happening and why it was happening. So we're going to bypass all that. He's in Hawaii and the first person he sees is his ex-girlfriend who he broke up with 13 years ago who has been not very happily married the whole time to a guy that doesn't even talk much? So they invite him to dinner, of course, because that's totally acceptable. In the meantime he is paired up with this U.S. Air Force commander girl to do whatever the heck is supposed to be done while he's there and she immediately starts hitting on him, but he is stone cold to her and then things continue to happen while poor ole me is in the theater wondering what in the heck is happening. Yeah sure. Let's call this movie Aloha because they are in Hawaii.

Ok, I could've gone to Wikipedia or IMDb before typing this review to iron out a lot of the confusing plot points before typing this review, but I decided against it this time around because I wanted to illustrate the point that the story in this movie lost me. Even when I knew what was going on, there were still a lot of things that I was wondering why they were happening. As in I wondered how certain things made it past the first draft of the script without someone looking at these moments and realizing that they weren't good ideas. It's especially baffling that this was written by Cameron Crowe, a man who usually writes very smart movies with great ideas. This just didn't cut it for me. The whole time I was waiting for something to happen. I wanted it to get emotional or touching or something like that. But as we kept getting further and further on in this movie, I began to fear that this moment would never come. It never really did. It tried. I think there were times where I was supposed to feel emotional or sad or something like that, but it never really hit me like I wanted it to. Instead there were a lot of plot points that were either really confusing, really forced, and/or really predictable.

I will be honest, though, this movie had it's moments, most of which came because of an excellent cast. Bradley Cooper and Emma Stone were our two leads. As I referred to in my introduction, I really love these two. Every movie I've seen them in I can tell that they are giving it their all and the same goes here. No, their characters aren't really written that well, but they did the best with what they were given and thus a lot of moments between the two of them really worked. Their romance thing that happens is extremely forced, but they still have a lot of fun with it. Bill Murray is the other person I mentioned in my introduction as someone who I really love as an actor. He does good in the scenes that he does get, but unfortunately he is very under-utilized. There is a lot more that they could've done with him. Rachel McAdams plays Bradley Cooper's married ex-girlfriend and she is fine. I think they were going for an odd love triangle thing with this. McAdams vs. Stone. Which one will he go for? Yeah, you see right through that from the beginning as McAdams' character is pretty useless. Her husband, though, is played by John Krasinski and even though the non-talking thing was really stupid when it came to him and his wife, it made for some excellent moments between him and Bradley Cooper. I was laughing pretty hard at those moments.

Despite some of the good moments that this movie had, overall I just found the whole movie very bland. The actors tried their best and did a good job with what they were given, That prevented this from being from being unwatchably bad, but the writing in this movie was just so bad. I really don't know where Cameron Crowe was going with this or what the purpose was. I felt like he had a few good ideas that had the potential of being a very good movie, but when he tried to put those to a script, he got lost and didn't know how to connect it all, so he just threw a bunch of things together and recruited a really good cast to try to make up for it. It didn't. The music was once again done by Jonsi, who put together an absolutely beautiful score together for We Bought a Zoo, but even he didn't have much to work with here. It's hard to write a beautiful score to a movie when there's no substance to the movie that warrants beautiful music. I was waiting for the awesome Jonsi moments to come and they almost came, but then they didn't. Like I said, I don't blame Jonsi for that. So in the end, this was probably one of the most disappointing movies of the year. Not worst. Disappointing because I was expecting so much out of it and I got so little. Now in hindsight I regret not seeing San Andreas opening night instead of this, which isn't good. My grade for Aloha is a 5/10.

1 comment:

  1. You have to wonder if Crowe understands Hawaii at all: What, no luau?