Outside of his music documentaries, Cameron Crowe’s directorial work has been a disappointment for the past decade and a half. Even if you like We Bought a Zoo, you have to admit it’s hardly one of his greats. With our first look at Aloha, I don’t know if it will be any kind of classic but it does seem a more interesting effort. Mainly, though, it’s got a very appealing cast.
Front and center are two current Oscar nominees, Bradley Cooper and Emma Stone. He plays a defense contractor given a second chance after a major screw-up. He’s sent to Hawaii for a new mission, and there he also becomes reacquainted with a lost love (Rachel McAdams). Stone plays his Air Force liaison, who he also winds up falling for.
That redemptive story sounds a little simpler than is indicated by the trailer and the extended plot summary I’ve seen involving China and the launch of a spy satellite and the need to get support from the locals and more. I like when Crowe is complicated but not exactly convoluted. Think back to Say Anything (still his best, in my opinion) and you mostly remember the romantic narrative, but a full synopsis would note that the otherwise simple teen movie is also about a man being investigated for a tax scam.
Also part of the stellar Aloha ensemble are Danny McBride, Alec Baldwin (giving us a startling, Glengarry-ish start), Bill Murray and John Krasinski, who I kinda hope actually stays silent throughout the movie. It’d be a funny gag and a break from hearing his voice in commercials all the time.
Here is the brief official synopsis via Sony Pictures:
A celebrated military contractor returns to the site of his greatest career triumphs and re-connects with a long-ago love while unexpectedly falling for the hard-charging Air Force watchdog assigned to him.