Aloha unwinds during Christmas time in Hawaii.
Sun, lots of it, with blue water and pristine sand. Interesting myths from the islands mysterious past play out among the mountains and lush forest. Thoughts flooded my mind about that trip to the islands we took in 2010, Oahu and Kawai and Maui … Volcanoes and lava and rain forests … You’ll regret it if you take a lava rock back to the continent …
Good-looking players in their prime were selected to play the two major roles, and Bradley Cooper and Emma Stone send some sparks flying like flint on steel. Oh, Rachel McAdams and John Krasinski don’t do too badly in their side dance, either, while Bill Murray and Alec Baldwin arch and bluster as senior and middle-age masters of what they do.
No dummy about those things was writer-director Cameron Crowe as he brought this baby from mind to movie.
But as I watched the 110 minutes of redemption for military contractor Brian Gilcrest play out during a Saturday matinée at the Regal Cinemas in the Syracuse mega shopping, dining and entertainment complex Destiny USA along with my dear wife Karen and just a handful of others, I wished that Crowe had been a bit smarter.
The scenes with Dennis Bumpby Kenehele and his legion of native Hawaiians who greeted Gilcrest and Stone’s Captain Allison Ng were so good. And so short. I wanted more. The Hawaiians deserved more. I also had to get over my dilemma about Stone playing a character so vociferously proud of her one-quarter Island heritage. But, hey, I said to myself, don’t you always tell yourself not to judge a book by its cover?
The explanation of Gilcrest’s troubled and shady past with Murray’s character Carson Welch’s rocket launching-corporation was too shallow to propel his ensuing moral dilemma. It needed more.
Danny McBride and Bill Camp’s military and corporate characters were integral but inconsequential both, so go figure that one out on your own.
That portion of the plot line, politics vs. nature and government sleeping with industry, was so messy.
Yet the sweet, sunny spots of human touch kept bringing me back to a smile. The unspoken man communication between Gilcrest and Krasinski’s Woody was a winner, and the quick-blooming relationship between Gilcrest and his former girlfriend’s great kids Grace and Mitchell was quite charming.
In the end, the star power of Cooper and Stone and Hawaii wins again. Aloha.
Do you think that native Hawaiians deserve a lot of screen time in a film titled Alohashot on the islands?
Are you bothered by the casting of Emma Stone to play the part of a quarter-native Hawaiian with the name of Ng? Are you interested in the space program, or are you ready to see it go away entirely?