If you weren’t convinced with George Clooney being part-Hawaiian in The Descendants, then you’re going to feel whitewashed seeing Emma Stone’s Hawaiian-Chinese character Allison Ng in Cameron Crowe’s latest. This is but one symptom of Aloha’s severely undercooked story about cultural sensitivity and the US Space Program, one that tries to honour Hawaiian culture in the same way a dude-bro attempts to honour native Indian heritage by wearing a chieftain feather hat at Coachella.
OK, I’m being a little mean with that comparison, but when a conversation between two Caucasians about the mana of a forest rings worryingly false, you can’t help but feel the whole production could have used another consultant.
Though it’s difficult to believe in ‘Bradley Cooper: computer military genius’, the film is far more fun when focusing on ‘Bradley Cooper: flawed-but-loveable bachelor’. There are a host of lively characters and involving relationships that dish out constant pleasantries, and although the script could have used a serious revision with regards to the aforementioned plot, the character-to-character banter is witty enough to keep the film afloat, with an on-form star cast that give the dialogue even more buoyancy. Danny McBride and Alec Baldwin in particular pierce with their sparse but wickedly funny roles.
In this sense, Aloha is a disposably smooth ride, but you’ll need to forgive the misjudged cultural-political military plot (an order that may prove too tall for some).
‘Aloha’ movie times