There's quite a bit wrong with Aloha.
For a start, it takes about half an hour to figure out what's going on, and even after you get the drift, you're still not very sure.
Try as I might, I couldn't understand what Gilcrest's job is, or why he's in Hawaii, or who he's working for, or why any of it was of any importance.
Actually, I couldn't determine whether Aloha is supposed to be a slow-burning thriller or a romantic comedy, or both, or neither.
I'm all for mystery and ambiguity, but this isn't an art film; it's supposedly a mainstream Hollywood flick.
There are rules, Crowe!
The casting is also weird, with Stone starring as a girl who is one-quarter Chinese and one-quarter Hawaiian. And are we really supposed to believe she's a soldier?
As for McAdams, she's way over-qualified for her thankless role as Cooper's ex-girlfriend who has nothing to do but make moony eyes at him.
And I know Cooper's supposed to be Hollywood's latest It Guy, but he has zero charisma. More like anti-charisma.
As handsome as he is, he always looks sweaty and desperate. It's like a weird nerd has taken over a hunk's body and doesn't know quite how to operate it.
Like almost everything else in the film, he just doesn't work. In the end, Aloha looks and feels like a rough draft for an actual movie.
Aloha has been getting flak from Hawaiian natives for its white-washing.
While I'm no expert in Hawaiian culture, I did feel the movie treating its heritage with much reverence.
If only Crowe had taken similar care with his story and characters.
The movie is filled with subplots and convoluted character backgrounds and you don't really get what Aloha is trying to be.
On the surface, it's a romance with a love triangle. Then it turns into a tale of Gilcrest's redemption.
It seems like Crowe wrote a basic - and flimsy - script and left it to his all-star cast to work some magic.
Murray looks like he's just doing his own thing - something only he can do.
Stone delivers an energetic performance, but she's not given much room for development. McAdams is in an even more pathetic state, as her dilemma isn't allowed to be played up.
Cooper is just going through the motions, though there's some sweet chemistry between him and Stone.
The person who obviously has the most fun is Baldwin, chewing up scenery and flinging insults with ferocity and wit. A pity he's such a minor character.
This could have been a fun flick if it had been better constructed. Everything feels haphazard. Given Crowe's interesting past stuff like Almost Famous and Jerry Maguire, that's a letdown.
STARRING: Bradley Cooper, Emma Stone, Rachel McAdams, Bill Murray, Alec Baldwin
WRITER/DIRECTOR: Cameron Crowe
THE SKINNY: Defence contractor Brian Gilcrest (Cooper) returns to his old stomping ground, Hawaii, to supervise the “blessing of a pedestrian gate” and to oversee a satellite launch commissioned by his wealthy boss Carson Welch (Murray). Once on the island, he reconnects with his former flame Tracy (McAdams), while falling in love with Allison (Stone), an eager fighter pilot assigned to be Gilcrest’s watchdog.
THE CONSENSUS: Say goodbye, not hello, to Aloha.