Opening August 6, 2015
Directed by: Cameron Crowe
Writing credits: Cameron Crowe
Principle actors: Bradley Cooper, Emma Stone, Rachel McAdams, Bill Murray, John Krasinski, Danny McBride, Alec Baldwin
Billionaire private sector entrepreneur Carson Welch (Murray) rehires Brian (Cooper) to oversee a significant space satellite project. Brian’s feelings though are mixed returning to Honolulu, Hawaii; he knows his rather dubious reputation is on the line. First bombshell is meeting an old flame (McAdams), albeit her circumstances are greatly altered. Then Brian learns rising-star, play-by-the-book Air Force pilot Ng (Stone) will babysit him. However, Brian finds Ng’s presence an eye-opening advantage when later negotiating with Hawaiian independence movement head Dennis Bumpy Kanahele about using their land, because of Ng’s vibrant individuality and lineage pride. Brian’s feelings unexpectedly shift; Ng’s decency reawakens his. Air Force four-star General Dixon (Baldwin) is breathing down Brian’s neck, Welch amps up the schedule, and a kid (Jaeden Lieberher) tips him off culminating in decision-making time. Luckily, Brian has retained some clout.
Cameron Crowe writes–directs this quirky romantic–comedy and somehow manages to effectively commingle relationship angles, politics, patriotism, and environmental and native Hawaiians’ issues. Of course it helps having an A-list cast, great location shots – Hickam Field Air Force base, Diamond Head Crater, Chinatown, the village of Pu’uhonua O Waimanalo, et al. (Eric Gautier cinematography), and wonderful music by Jon Thor Birgisson and Alex Somers plus a scene with Hawaiian slack-key guitar legends Ledward Kaapana and Mike Kaawa playing. Alluding to topics such as loyalties, communication – verbal and non-verbal, and individual values with drollness makes Aloha a refreshingly light and enlightening summer entertainment. 105 minutes (Marinell H.)