Another Blu-ray/DVD release #ShortCuts review for you this week — this time for Cameron Crowe’s Aloha. Pretty proud of how quickly I wrote this one up. It came out a lot longer than I thought it would. But trust me, be glad I saw it and you didn’t.
Remember when I was complaining about how awful Hot Pursuit was a few weeks back? Well, I had the privilege of watching Aloha a short time later – and I think I may have found the worst movie of the year. Even that retched excuse called The Wedding Ringer was better than whatever the hell this is. Is it a comedy? Is it a romance? Is it a drama? Is it some hybrid mix of the three with thinly veiled allusions and commentaries on…everything? I could not tell you for the life of me, and I doubt writer/director Cameron Crowe could either.
Now it may sound like I am just jumping on the bandwagon and bashing this movie like everyone else did when it was released in May. But I am a huge Crowe fan – Almost Famous is legitimately one of my top five favourite films of all time. I love Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Say Anything…, Vanilla Sky and Jerry Maguire, and I did not hate Elizabethtown or We Bought A Zoo (Singles is sitting in a pile of movies waiting to be watched). But Aloha is easily the worst film he has ever done. It just lacks any form of cohesive story, the performances are all wasted, and it just comes off like a total disaster. I can readily admit I was not fully paying attention at all times, but it felt like the film had new ideas being introduced every 15 minutes, and then fully resolved without much conflict quickly afterwards.
Bradley Cooper looks like a confused zombie through most of the film. John Krasinski only speaks ten lines tops and then spends the rest of the movie just staring intently. I wish I was kidding – it is supposed to be some form of an oddball character trait involving his being the literal strong, silent type, but it comes off ridiculous (especially near the end when his facial expressions get subtitled). Emma Stone appears to be trying her hardest to make something of her character, but she just becomes irritating and annoying. Not to mention she is supposed to be half-Asian. Again, not kidding. And Rachel McAdams is somehow involved in all this as a former lover of Cooper’s character, but all the back story and love triangle nonsense just comes off trite and only partially baked.
Oh and Danny McBride, Alec Baldwin, the unsung character actor Bill Camp and the always game Bill Murray all pop up for small, smaller and miniscule supporting performances. Their ultimate purpose in the movie? Still not too sure.
There is part of me that wants to watch Aloha again because I cannot believe how mind-blowingly awful it was. But there is a greater part of me that wants to try and forget this ever happened – much like everyone else will. Everything is squandered here, and it makes me genuinely question Crowe as a filmmaker. Whether the film was cut to pieces or not, what is left is nothing to be proud of.