Let me start off by saying I enjoyed Writer/Producer/Director Cameron Crowe’s Aloha…despite its problems.
Emma Stone, Rachel McAdams, Bradley Cooper, John Krasinski, Bill Murray, Danny McBride, Alec Baldwin, Danielle Rose Russell and the rest of the supporting cast all give excellent performances.
But, there’s a problem with the script. Not that the writing is bad. In fact, there are some really funny and charming scenes. The issue is the focus.
The film starts off with photos of Hawaiian history…native history juxtaposed with our military history on the islands. An expansive story. However, this is, primarily, a romantic comedy with the more expansive story kept in the background and, therefore, lessened. So, in some sense, we’re confused and feel cheated.
Then, there’s Bradley Cooper’s character Brian Gilchrist. He’s loved by two smart women and is respected by the Hawaiian native elders, yet he, basically, acts like a jerk. So, what are we to feel about him? Again, we’re confused.
Yet, the biggest problem is the lack of scope. Cinematographer Eric Gautier did not or was not allowed to show us the breadth of the subject matter…the islands, the planes, the skies. Everything feels cramped. The screen size is too small. A potential epic has been squeezed into a confining box. Again, we feel cheated. Here’s a situation in which more budget or better talent was needed.
All that being said, Aloha is still worth a view. It's just that it could have been and should have been better. I give it a 3+ out of 5.