“… a busy, boring, mess of a film that tries to do too much and fails miserably.”
Last night I watched Aloha which is probably most famous because just prior to its release it was accused of whitewashing by casting Emma Stone as a character who is “part-Asian”. While my views on this issue don’t echo this point (as well as the fact that my views are irrelevant), I couldn’t help but feel that many people’s anger was misplaced. Instead of them being angry that Emma Stone was cast in the film, they should have been angry that the film was terrible. Aloha suffers from one of the more confusing plots I have seen in a movie that markets itself as a romantic comedy, but I will do my best to summarize it.
So this guy, let’s call him Bradley Cooper, talks about how he wanted to be an astronaut. Then he flies to Hawaii and briefly mentions that he was injured in a war. Then he talks to the pilot of the aircraft (who he knows I guess), and lands and proceeds to “catch-up” with a lot of old friends, none of whom we are familiar with. He is in Hawaii because he works for a billionaire who is sending a rocket into space, and he has to bless a civilian gate that is being built on an ancient burial ground. He runs into his old girlfriend, which is awkward, and he also meets an airforce Captain who he dislikes, but then falls in love with her after bugging her phone and listening to her talk about him. The movie continues on with some more bullshit, and then people get mad at each other, and then there is a “happy ending”, and then the credits roll. I think.
So of course the main problem I had with Aloha was the fact that it felt like I was watching a sequel, without having seen the first film in the franchise. We are introduced to a myriad of characters in an extremely short length of time, all of whom seem to have complex relationships with one another, and we are only given hints to these relationships throughout the film. There also seems to be multiple triangles happening throughout the course of Aloha. By that I mean you have your basic love triangle, Bradley Cooper is in love with his ex-girlfriend but also the Captain that is supposed to keep an eye on him, but you also have a work-triangle because Bradley Cooper is working for a billionaire but his old colleagues are present and they don’t like that he works for a billionaire. I think. Either way, it creates this confusing “Star of David” layout that is damn-near impossible to follow. Oh, and I almost forgot that along the way Bradley Cooper meets his ex-girlfriend’s kids, one of whom walks around with a video camera all of the time and watches hamster porn. Yeah, this movie is a mess.
Another issue that I had with Aloha, not that I need anymore reasons to hate this film, was the music. Instead of having background music that really sets the tone of the scenes, Aloha opts for music with lyrics; this isn’t always a bad thing, but I’m not a fan of this because it takes away from the visuals of the film in my opinion. The music choices wee also pretty terrible with the levels of energy being all over the place, which ultimately fucked with the tone of the film and made it seem ‘busy’. To complement this feeling, the camera was operated by someone with ADHD. Seriously, the camera moved around more in Aloha during a simple dialogue scene that it would have in Transformers during a third act battle. This is ultimately distracting, but at least it is hilarious to imagine the director running circles around the actors thinking about how great his movie will be. And finally, the acting in Aloha isn’t enough to save it. Bradley Cooper was so forgettable I don’t even remember his character’s name, Emma Stone was super jumpy in her line delivery, and Bill Murray was just there. The only people who were good were John Krasinski and Rachel McAdams, but they seemed to be in a completely different movie because their storyline was a full-blown drama placed right in the middle of a romantic comedy. Although I guess their scenes aren’t as out of place as I originally thought because they made me laugh as much as the rest of the film; not at all.
Ultimately Aloha is a busy, boring, mess of a film that tries to do too much and fails miserably.
I give Aloha a D