In Aloha, Bradley Cooper stars as Brian Gilcrest, an Air Force veteran who returns to Hawaii as a military contractor who falls in love with Allison Ng, the Air Force fighter pilot assigned as his liaison (Emma Stone) and confronts the fallout from his relationship with Tracy Woodside, a girlfriend he left behind (Rachel McAdams). Tracy’s married to Woody, an Air Force pilot who barely speaks but still manages to communicate just fine, thank you (John Krasinki).
This is a straight-up romantic comedy, written and directed by Cameron Crowe. There’s a real sense of how life on a military base is disconnected from the world around and, contrary to media coverage of complaints from people who’ve never seen the movie, a real effort to explore the uneasy relationship between the military and native Hawaiian culture.
Bradley Cooper and Emma Stone talked to Military.com about the movie after a screening of the movie in London a couple of weeks back. Check out the video below:
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There are plenty of mixed reviews out there from the mainstream movie critics, but nothing out there is mentioning some of the most interesting plot points in the movie.
Cameron Crowe grew up in San Diego in the ’70s, in a city with one of the strongest military base cultures in America. Aloha may have a contemporary setting, but anyone who remembers an era when guys who served in WWII were still in charge of the military will recognize what inspired Crowe to make this movie.
If you discovered Bradley Cooper in American Sniper and went back and watched all his movies, you’ll enjoy his performance here. Even though this is definitely a comedy, he plays another guy dealing with fallout from combat (although Gilcrest got injured when working as a contractor after he left the Air Force).
Another strong influence are the early years when the space program had such tight connections with the Air Force. The opening title sequence conjures strong memories of the Apollo era when astronauts served as the same inspiration that Top Gun‘s Maverick would be to later generations.
Bill Murray has a much larger role in the movie as Carson Welch, a tech billionaire who’s launching satellites in partnership with the military and diverting payloads for his own nefarious means. Underlying the entire plot line is a strong sense that some tasks are best performed by men and women who serve and that outsourcing can be both dangerous and corrupt.
The character that might resonate the most, though is Woody. In a movie full of characters who talk all the time about everything, John Krasinki plays a guy who doesn’t like words much and still manages to convey love and support for his friends and family. Everyone reading this site knows more than a few guys like that.