MOVIE REVIEW: Aloha to a mish-mash storyline
Starring: Bradley Cooper, Emma Stone, Rachel McAdams, Bill Murray, Alex Baldwin
Director: Cameron Crowe
Reviewer: Megan Mackander
Verdict: 2 stars
ALOHA is a strange mish-mash of astronomy, American patriotism and Hawaiian folklore all wrapped in a predictable love story.
Director Cameron Crowe is responsible for the fan-favourite flicks Jerry Maguire and Almost Famous, but this rom-com has serious failure to launch.
And it's a real shame, because the cast is fantastic.
The plot is rather confusing, so bear with me.
Aloha thrives on relationships and the interactions between all the characters - not tension or big-action scenes with insane special effects.
Bradley Cooper plays Brian Gilchrist, a former military man whose fall from grace has him now employed as a government contractor in Hawaii where he celebrated his glory days.
But it's more than proud career achievements waiting - his ex-girlfriend Allison (Rachel McAdams) lives on the island with her new husband and two children.
She's moved on with her life, but has she really?
Brian has been hired by flamboyant billionaire Carson Welch (Bill Murray) to use his friendship with the leader of the Hawaiian independence movement (played by real-life Nation of Hawaii leader Dennis "bumpy" Kanahele) to smooth things over for the billionaire's impending satellite launch.
The joint venture with the US government means Brian is assigned a handler - bubbly, overly enthusiastic fighter pilot Allison Ng (Emma Stone). Stone has an intoxicating screen presence. But she's an annoying presence for Brian who has other things on his mind. Soon the pair find a stronger, deeper connection. Then it's up to Brian to choose.
So, to re-cap.
A billionaire has an evil satellite plot; the US government is involved in the controversial project; Brian Gilchrist used to be a military man and now he's burnt out; and all the while he's trying to rekindle love with his former partner and handle this new girl who is annoying but very attractive. Add to that constant reminders that Hawaii is very beautiful and the Gods aren't too happy.
Got all that?
The strange storyline is really wasted on the fantastic cast.
The film is bearable and enjoyable.
But you'll be ready to say Aloha once the credits start rolling.