Personally I have always been fascinated by Hawaii, but for a European this place is across the other side of the earth and very difficult to access. I am keen to visit the place to hear their music, eat the local delicacies and photograph the flowers and mountains. My uncle has a time-share there and he speaks some of the local language ! This film shows us a lot of different views of the islands and the climate, given the lush vegetation, seems to be quite changeable with an ever changing sky between rain and sun. One must suppose that one of the film's aims is to show that even in such a peaceful paradise such as Hawai'I, pain and grief are possible.
The film's plot is very limited but Clooney's actor performance in the role assigned to him is very good indeed - for this reason at the end of the film, you feel "highly satisfied" which is not the same as "enthralled" : to feel the latter you would have needed a spicier plot which just wasn't there. As to Clooney's wife in the film I could not imagine being paid to act in a film and to spend the whole of that film motionless in a bed ? Could they not have used a lifelike dummy ?? As we never saw the woman "in action" during the film even by use of flashbacks, it is difficult for the spectator to feel any real emotion for her and we have more emotion in following the way Clooney apprehends the situation thrust upon him.
One very negative point is the frequent use of absolutely foul and vulgar language by the children. Is this typical of American children nowadays ? Or was it exaggerated for the film ? Whatever the reply to that question, it does absolutely no good for the film at all and the only effect it would have would be to repulse certain would-be viewers who would have otherwise liked the film. How I relish the older films from the 1940's and 1950's where this filth was totally absent and the film far more enjoyable. Even in fighting/violent scenes, people seemed to control their language.
A good point with "Descendants"was the lovely Hawaiian music I have collected quite a few CD's of this bought overseas and I am fascinated by the culture mix these islands have produced.
Globally I have a satisfactory appreciation of the film which can be put down to Clooney's excellent performance and the magnificent surroundings and music and whilst you feel sad that the poor wife is confined to a bed with the unenviable prospect of death at the end of the tunnel, this sadness is tempered by the fact that we learn she was cheating on her husband. And cheating with who ? One of the killers from "Scream". Your emotions are slightly "numbed".