Saturday, October 24, 2015

Movi review - "Aloha" (2015) **

Not the worst movie ever made but Cameron Crowe's worst. It has pleasing tunes, gorgeous scenery and likeable movie stars but is needlessly confusing. I'm guessing Crowe wanted to rip off Local Hero - if that was the case it's easy to see how you do it: military man Bradley Cooper is in disgrace for accepting bribes in Afghanistan, his connections with Hawaii mean he is sent to Hawaii to negotiate a deal on a military base with the locals, he falls for Emma Stone who believes the sky belongs to us all, and catches up with old flame Rachel McAdams who is the one who got away, Hawaii gets under his skin, he realises his military mission is dodgy and takes the side of the Good over the Evil, and earns the love of Emma Stone and gets redemption.

That I could follow. But this is confusing. Cooper works for an independent contractor, not the military, but still works a lot for the military; it's never really clear exactly how much disgrace he's in for what happened in Afghanistan (is it public? is he up on criminal charges?) or why he has so much sway and esteem in Hawaii or who is in charge; Emma Stone is meant to be a truth telling free spirit shocked at nuclear weapons in a satellite... and she's a fighter pilot? And its needlessly confusing - surely Crowe was more interested in the characters and Hawaii and love instead of his story, but his story is so muddled you can't focus on the other stuff. Surely they could have fixed it all up with an opening scene that set everything up clearly.

Or not. Because I think on another level the movie is simply miscast - the supporting characters are fine and Rachel McAdams is lovely as always but Emma Stone too college girl and lightweight to be a believable fighter pilot (it needed someone like Reese Witherspoon, someone you can believe who would study intently and could fire missiles). Bradley Cooper seems like a nice guy rather than someone tormented.

Some pleasing moments such as Stone and Murray dancing to 'I Can't  Go For That' by Hall and Oates and it looks good.

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