Bradley Cooper and Emma Stone hit it off in Aloha.

Bradley Cooper and Emma Stone hit it off in Aloha.

Reel reviews: Say hello and goodbye to Aloha

Taylor and Howe says "It’s reasonably entertaining, but Aloha feels hollow.”

  • Jun. 7, 2015 5:00 p.m.

A former military man gone private contractor, Brian Gilcrest (Bradley Cooper, returns to his once homestate of Hawaii. There Gilcrest reunites with a former boss, billionaire Carson Welch (Bill Murray), to launch a satellite into space.

Gilcrest will also be reunited with his ex-girlfriend Tracy (Rachel McAdams) and her family. Then he finds it difficult not to fall for his feisty Air Force liaison Allison Ng (Emma Stone).

When the payload of the rocket they are launching comes into question, everything in Brian’s life changes, based on a single decision.

We say, “It’s reasonably entertaining, but Aloha feels hollow.

TAYLOR: I think the problem with Aloha is its lack of focus. The rocket launching aspect of the story is inconsequential to what makes the film interesting, namely the relationships between the characters. Yet almost a third of the story is devoted to the launch and everyone is somehow involved with it.

Gilcrest could have come home to Hawaii and decided whether or not to take over his parents car wash business. As long as we had the same interpersonal connections made, it would be the same movie. Admittedly, a rocket launch is slightly more interesting than a car wash. However, due to the time given to this odd thread running through an otherwise well-made movie, I can’t help but feel disappointed by the usually decent writer/director Cameron Crowe, (Vanilla Sky, Jerry Maguire, Say Anything…)

HOWE: I’m going to have to disagree with you and say that I wasn’t disappointed with it.

Aloha doesn’t have the strangeness of Vanilla Sky or have the classic line “You had me at hello” like Jerry Maguire, yet there was something about the film that had me smiling and wanting it to go on a little longer.

Some of the acting was very good. Cooper gave one of his better performances, similar to the one in Silver Linings Playbook, yet it was the normally irritating Danny McBride who I was most impressed with. This guy can actually act, well to some extent anyway.

TAYLOR: Aloha does have some very good acting, especially silent acting, which of course I love. I was touched emotionally in the appropriate places. Still I can’t help but feel a bit underwhelmed.  But, for a straight-up relationship movie, this might be the strongest one of the year, despite the strange and shallow B-story. Plus it’s filmed in Hawaii, which doesn’t hurt.

HOWE: If you fancy a movie that isn’t full of CGI, dropping the F-bomb every five minutes, or if you’ve had your fill of superheroes, then Aloha makes for a pleasant change.

– Taylor gives Aloha 2.5 salutes out of 5.

–  Howe gives it 2.5 Santas out of 5.

Brian Taylor and Peter Howe are film reviewers based in Vernon, B.C. Their column, Reel Reviews, appears in The Morning Star Friday and Sunday.