Whenever a movie gets completely panned by critics, there is always a little benefit of the doubt. We film critics are just uppity cinephiles who need a lot of artsy shit to impress us, right? Well, some are a little over-critical—I certainly try not to be—so when films like Aloha come out to absolutely horrendous reviews, you have to ask, “Can it really be that bad? There are so many good people in it!” Today, I am here to announce that Cameron Crowe’s Aloha is that bad and it is by far the biggest on-screen disaster of the year—which is really saying something when San Andreas, an actual disaster film, feels more cohesive and thought-out than this star-studded fiasco.
I mean, where do I start? There are about a dozen different places to go from within this mess. Do we begin with the typical philosophical conundrums that Crowe throws into every movie? Or do we start with the fallen-from-grace character that we’ve seen in Elizabethtown and Jerry Maguire who has lost everything? Aloha seems to want to be every possible movie you could make out of an already convoluted premise of a military contractor who returns to Hawaii and gets involved with a love-triangle, mystical island spirits, nuclear weapons, and a kid who likes to film hamsters having sex.
The cast, which by all intents and purposes should be great, delivers a range of performances that are either unenthusiastic about the rambling script, or far too over-accommodating to make up for whatever the script wanted out of the actor. It is a pure waste of talent with the likes of Bradley Cooper, Rachel McAdams, John Krasinski, and Emma Stone who all should be reading the scripts before they sign on to movies from now on.
It’s like nobody actually proof-read the screenplay—which basically feels like it was just Crowe vomiting everything he could think of onto paper and calling it good. There is simply too much going on for anything to have any emotional weight behind it or any sort of captivation. The characters are unlikable and boring. We do not get a sense that they are actually people outside of when they are on screen, but more of over-the-top quirky people that Crowe loves to regurgitate and act like they are realistic.
Like Bradley Cooper’s character—who aims for the stars—Aloha tries to reach a celestial high with its philosophically pandering screenplay, annoyingly idiosyncratic characters, and consistently juxtaposing themes and motifs that never pay off. In the Hawaiian language, “aloha” means both hello and goodbye—let’s hope for Cameron Crowe’s sake this is the latter.