In Theatres: 
May 29, 2015
Running Time: 
105 minutes

It’s been a couple of days later and I’m still wondering what exactly I saw when I watched Aloha. Is it a romantic drama about a soldier returning to his past? Or is it a war thriller dealing with the privatization of war? Just like the word aloha can be used for both hello and goodbye, the film itself attempts to do both, but with disastrous results.


Brian Gilcrest (Bradley Cooper) works as a private contractor for Carson Welch (Bill Murray), one of the world’s wealthiest businessmen whose interests could be classified as iffy. His latest business venture takes them to Hawaii, where they plan to launch a telecommunications satellite into space. The trip brings Brian back to where he was stationed when he was in the military and back to his old ex-girlfriend, Tracy (Rachel McAdams), who has made a lovely family with her new husband, Woody (John Krasinski). Tensions rise between the two with the arrival of her ex, meanwhile a new relationship kindles between Brian and his assigned overseer, Air Force pilot Allison Ng (Emma Stone).


That all sounds like your stereotypical romantic film, but while all this is going on there’s a second plot about how Carson Welch is secretly weaponizing his satellite so he can be the first to militarize space and have complete control. It completely contradicts the low key direction of everything else and feels out of place. The film constantly switches between trying to be romantic, humorous, or thrilling, but fails to pull off any of them. It tries to be all these things at once and ends up being none of them. All it does it create confusion.


Aloha is bad. It’s almost as if Cameron Crowe wanted to pull an Adam Sandler and just take a trip to Hawaii on the studio’s dime. It’s a mess of a film that struggles to deliver anything coherent. It’s one you’ll have no trouble saying goodbye to.

Matt Rodriguez
Review by Matt Rodriguez
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