Movie Reviews

Hello and Goodbye (Aloha Review)

While on assignment in Oahu, Hawaii, military contractor Brian Gilcrest (Bradley Cooper) reconnects with his old flame Tracy Woodside (Rachel McAdams), now married to an Air Force recruit (John Krasinski). He also spends time with Allison Ng (Emma Stone), a hard-nosed fighter pilot who watches every move that he makes. As they travel throughout the lush terrain, Brian finds himself falling for his feisty guide, while his conversations with Tracy may provide a shocking revelation from their past.

Since most of you are experiencing winter right now, I thought I would offer you a temporary escape with a film taking place in Hawaii. This also allows me to scratch another movie off my list. Since this film appears on many worst of 2015 lists, I was interested in seeing this now. I am aware of the controversy surrounding Emma Stone being cast as a part-Asian character but I did not mind this as her character’s ethnicity had no impact on the plot and I quickly forgot this fact as well. I didn’t see it back then because I didn’t have the time too. I wanted to because of the amazing cast but I never got the chance. For those who don’t know the story, military contractor Brian Gilcrest (Cooper) is on assignment in Oahu, Hawaii. While there, he reconnects with his ex-girlfriend Tracy Woodside (McAdams) who is now married to an Air Force recruit, John Woodside (Krasinski). Brian’s Air Force liaison Allison Ng (Stone) is an impressionable pilot who follows him around. Over time, Brian starts to fall for his new companion while his time with Tracy provides him a revelation from their past. That was pretty much the synopsis but unfortunately, that’s not the whole story as this film has a lot more going on. One of the problems with the film is that since there are so many subplots lurking here, it’s sometimes hard to know what is going on or what the story is. Is it a redemption story? Is it a story about the relationship between the Air Force and the native people of Hawaii? Is it a love story with Tracy or Allison? It is a story about space (yeah there’s space stuff here)? Is it a story about sky ethics? There’s a few more subplots but I think I made my point. This wouldn’t have been as bad if they were at least well done, which in this case they weren’t. This film definitely could have been better if they dropped a few subplots and focused on the rest in order for the plot to be a little clearer. The biggest subplot here revolves around the relationship between Brian and Allison. They start off being the biggest opposites and eventually end up together (shocker, I know). For a film that depends so much on the chemistry between these two characters, I just didn’t see any here. It’s not that I thought Cooper was bad (which he wasn’t), I just found Stone’s character to be on the annoying side (not because she’s part-Asian). Bill Murray was also here in a minor role and just feels wasted here. When we got to see him, he looked like he didn’t want to be there. At least the Hawaii stuff looked nice but it doesn’t quite make up for everything else. Overall, this film had plenty of promise considering the cast and the location but the messy story just holds everything back.

Score: 5.5/10

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