Bradley Cooper, looking better than ever and dominating the screen in long, loving close-ups so if he’s your reason to see it, go for it, plays some sort of military contractor with a shady past from some deal gone bad we never truly understand. But that’s okay, because the entire film is ambiguous and incomprehensible from start to finish. There are some big names here, like Alec Baldwin and Bill Murray, and some pretty women, like Emma Stone and Rachel McAdams, but don’t ask what the heck any of them are doing or why. It’s all a big mess, and it takes place in Hawaii.
The Army is involved, as are a rich industrialist, secret nuclear warheads, and missiles in space. Throw in a couple of love scenes to keep you awake, and you’ve got the picture. Literally.
Without giving too much away, let’s just say that this guy over here is that kid’s real father, and this other guy sort of still loves her, even though she loves him more. But then, he also likes her and she likes him too, but she’s pissed. And for some reason, one guy doesn’t talk, so subtitles are needed. There’s a little boy who goes around spouting Hawaiian folklore, and some actual Hawaiians who are moving sacred bones from one mountainside to another. There is fog, a dance party, some sacrificial moonlight stuff, and one person has an extra big toe. That’s it.
While the overstuffed plot promises to sort itself out at some point, it never does. As my friend Jackie, who suffered — I mean sat — through it with me said at the end, “Obviously they were all on Ecstasy when they wrote the script.” Finally, something made sense.