Movie Review: Aloha

Bradley Cooper;Emma Stone;Rachel McAdamsWe really looked forward to this. With arguably the best combination of classy Hollywood actors in Bradley Cooper, Emma Stone and Rachel McAdams, what could possibly go wrong? But even Bradley Cooper’s ridiculously gorgeous blue eyes aren’t enough to make up for Aloha’s clichéd storyline.

Directed and written by the Academy Award-winning Cameron Crowe, we expected more from this long-awaited romantic comedy-drama, given his previous successes in Jerry Maguire (1996), Almost Famous (2000) and Vanilla Sky (2001). The starry cast of this film only upped said anticipation.

Bradley Cooper;Rachel McAdamsBrian Gilcrest (Bradley Cooper), is a military defense contractor who is given a second opportunity after screwing up big time (by which the reason wasn’t touched on). Tasked by the seemingly impenetrable billionaire Carson Welch (Bill Murray), the movie opens with him on the way to Hawaii to supervise the launch of a weapons satellite.

After landing, Brian meets his ex-girlfriend Tracy Woodside (Rachel McAdams) as well as Allison Ng (Emma Stone), a quirky quarter-Asian pilot assigned to be Brian’s ‘watchdog’. The decision to cast Stone as an oriental character was greeted with criticism for the most part – so much so that Crowe himself felt obliged to write a post of apology on his website.

Emma StoneAs the story progresses, Brian spends more time with Ng and gradually falls in love with her. Their adulation is put to the test when Allison finds out Brian has been overseeing a satellite launch that she violently objects to.

Admittedly, we’re disappointed. We want more romance for a start. It seems like the film had more military talk than the actual development of the love story between the two leads, but perhaps that’s because there’re so many scenes about the satellite launch that we aren’t actually interested in. Brian and Allison fell in love a little too quickly for our liking – it feels too rushed and appears unrealistic.

In addition to the lack of romantic scenes, there really just isn’t a lot of romance between the lovers. Similar to Get Hard earlier this year, the main characters’ acting credentials can’t be questioned, yet the forced story progressions amplified the lack of chemistry between Bradley and Emma. It makes us feel like they were acting – something actors should aim not to do, ironically.

Bradley CooperOn the bright side, we did enjoy some short-lived funny parts, especially one particularly memorable scene. As Brian orders a double espresso at a bar Allison enters, expressing that she was “so jacked for today”… To which Brian responds by ordering a triple espresso instead.

The cinematography managed to complement parts of the story as well. For instance, during the Brian and Allison reconciling, the camera helped set a romantic mood by effortlessly capturing some gorgeous lens flares.

Emma StoneLooking at the storyline as a whole, however, it may be freshly appealing to audiences at the first glance, (We’ve never seen a military defense contractor fall in love with a female military pilot before) but at the end of it, the movie doesn’t feel like a very balanced romantic comedy – although Bradley Cooper’s poker face and Emma Stone’s quirkiness tickled our funny bones occasionally.

If you’re looking for a true-blue romantic comedy that will give you big laughs and yet make you go “aww”, don’t expect to leave the cinema fully satisfied. Though we say: Kudos for casting Bradley Cooper because at the very least, we got to fully enjoy those amazing eyes. *squeals*


Rating: ★★☆☆☆


Have you caught ‘Aloha’ yet? Give us your opinions about the movie in the comments below!



Release Date: 04 June 2015

Runtime: 105 minutes

Language: English

Censorship Rating: PG 13 – Brief Coarse Language

Genre: Romance, comedy

Director: Cameron Crowe

Main Actors: Bradley Cooper, Emma Stone, Rachel McAdams


Photos courtesy of Filmgarde Cineplex ­­