Review: Don’t say hello to ‘Aloha’; it’s not worth trip

Tom Long
The Detroit News

Where to begin with “Aloha”?

Begin by not going to the movie.

But wait — Bradley Cooper’s in this movie. And Emma Stone. And Bill Murray! How bad can it be if it’s got Bill Murray?

Pretty bad. Apparently Bill Murray is not the cure for everything. Especially not this script.

This is a romantic comedy in which a mad billionaire (Murray) tries to fill outer space with nuclear bombs under his control. “Where’s the romance or comedy in that?” you ask. Exactly. It’s like adding Dr. Evil to “Sleepless in Seattle.”

Cooper plays Brian Gilcrest, a government contractor who returns to his Hawaiian homeland to smooth the way for the billionaire’s secret space program. Immediately upon landing, he encounters his long-abandoned girlfriend, Tracy (Rachel McAdams), who is now married to another old friend, Woody (John Krasinski). Gilcrest is also introduced to his official handler, the overeager Capt. Ng (Stone).

From there the film becomes a splatter of random quirks. Gilcrest may be an ancient Hawaiian myth come to life ... until that storyline is dropped. He and Ng have knowing conversations that are hard to interpret. Ng suddenly sits down with some actual native Hawaiian people — this movie has very few such folk — for a painfully cliched singalong.

A colonel (Danny McBride) does twitchy things with his hands, Woody apparently communicates psychically, and Ng and Gilcrest encounter warrior ghosts while driving down a road. Then the two are in love, then they’re not; then they are, then they’re not ... and then suddenly, with no set-up, he’s a world-class computer genius.


Writer-director Cameron Crowe has done good work (“Say Anything,” “Jerry Maguire”), but he’s also produced absolute mush (“Elizabethtown,” “We Bought a Zoo”). Simply put, “Aloha” is more mush.



Rated PG-13 for some language including suggestive comments

Running time: 105 minutes