Some of the movies I watch deserve extra attention.

114. (1173.) Aloha (2015)

This is not one of them.

Aloha is the worst kind of films, the kind that is almost great but misses the mark. The cast is particularly stellar — Bradley Cooper, Emma Stone, Rachel McAdams, Bill Murray, Jon Krasinski, Danny McBride, Alec Baldwin; a real murders' row. However, the scriptwriter and the director let them down. Unfortunately, they were the same person. Cameron Crowe has made some great films in his day (Jerry Maguire, Almost Famous, Say Anything...). As I said, this is not one of them.

The first act is abysmally bad, underserving all characters and telegraphing the end. It's bad enough that Stone is supposed to be playing a Hawaiian. Worse, romantic leads Stone and Cooper have no real screen chemistry. Cooper gets along much better with McAdams, and this supposed "romantic" comedy suffers for that misplaced relationship.

Those problems are just the tip of this iceberg. Bill Murray's part was written as a Bond villain. Krasinski is playing a walking plot device and isn't even given any lines. The "space" elements are entirely pointless, and when the second act ends, the audience is given no context to understand what they're seeing on screen. Like I said, it's bad.

There are hints here of a better movie peeking out. If the Hawaiian lore had been handled more subtly, if the criticism of the civilian corruption of the military-industrial complex had been given more attention, if the characters were developed more organically . . . . There's a good movie under here somewhere. Too bad no one got to see it.

As I said, this movie doesn't deserve this much attention. If you haven't guessed by now, the real reason for this post is to explain that I'm now missing only 3 movies on my Emma Stone career checklist (Ghosts of Girlfriends Past, 2009; Magic in the Moonlight, 2014; and Irrational Man, 2015).

Gotta watch 'em all! Even the bad ones.

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To be continued...

 

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