While many critics have complained about Aloha for one reason or another, I found it to be an entertaining and watchable movie. Cameron Crowe wrote and directed this comedy, which mixes up a romantic triangle, the shenanigans of an eccentric billionaire determined to take his piece of the sky, native Hawaiians, and the U.S. Military, who has made a deal with the billionaire.
Bradley Cooper stars as Brian Gilcrest , a man of many talents, whose career took a hit at the same time he was seriously injured by a bomb during a covert mission in Afghanistan. He shows up in Hawaii hoping to rekindle his relationship with eccentric billionaire Carson Welch (Bill Murray) by making a deal with Dennis “Bumpy” Kanahele, a direct descendant of Hawaiian royalty, to trade a piece of land and get a blessing for a bridge between the military base and a new compound for satellites built by Welch’s company.
What he finds on the tarmac of a Hawaiian military base is a bunch of old friends and his long-ago love Tracy Woodside (Rachel McAdams). She’s accompanied by her teenaged daughter and younger son. Gilcrest was flown in on a plane piloted by her husband Woody (John Krasinski).
Gilcrest is assigned an air force liaison, jet pilot Allison Ng, played to ditzy perfection by Emma Stone. Ng is quick to explain she is one fourth Hawaiian and regales him with legends about the sky and magical creatures native to Hawaii.
Sparks fly between Gilcrest and Tracy and she invites him to dinner later in the week, but Gilcrest is drawn to Ng. Before that dinner, Gilcrest and Ng go visit “Bumpy.” Gilcrest goes way back with the man and negotiations go well, ending in a feast where Ng shows her guitar talents by sitting in on a Hawaiian blues song.
Murray brings his trademark wit to Welch and his loopy demeanor hides a conniving man who will try to take control of all future space exploration by sneaking a surprise payload onto an imminent satellite launch.
Aloha wants to be a tight little movie, but there are too many subplots and getting them all in and resolved makes this movie slower than it should have been. The relationship between Ng and Gilcrest is fun to watch, especially a scene that includes Gilcrest’s very odd foot. The movie is nearly stolen by Kaminski. His “conversations” with Gilcrest are hilarious.