OldKingClancy posted a MOVIE REVIEW item: 2 months ago



Directed by: Nacho Vigalondo
Written by: Nacho Vigalondo
Cast: Anne Hathaway, Dan Stevens, Jason Sudeikis, Tim Blake Nelson
Studio: Neon
Genre: Action, Science-Fiction, Thriller
Official Site:
Plot: A Monster Of A Hangover


In a time where people are clamouring for something original in film it’s disappointing to see something like Colossal fail at the box office. Because who doesn’t want to see an Anne Hathaway led black comedy sci-fi Kaiju film dealing with alcoholism and guilt?

That sounds odd but bear with me.

The film opens with Gloria, an unemployed online writer, being dumped by her boyfriend Tim after one too many drunken nights out. Kicked out of her New York apartment and with nowhere else to go, Gloria heads back to her hometown of New Hampshire where she inadvertently runs into her childhood friend Oscar now working at his late father’s bar. The two of them start to reconnect just as news breaks of a giant monster attacking Seoul.

Watching the footage of the attacks, which occur every day at the same time for a few minutes before the monster disappears, Gloria realises that the monster is controlled by her actions whenever she steps foot into a nearby park. With the guilt of hundreds of deaths of her conscience, Gloria decides to do something to make things right, however that proves more difficult than initially thought.

I’m being deliberately vague so as not to spoil this film, while the trailers do a good job of filling you in on the basic outline there’s a whole second half to this film that I was not prepared for and it moves things into a much darker but more interesting direction. It’s for the better as well because the concept of a woman controlling a giant monster doesn’t have the legs to carry the full movie but once it shifts gears and the real story kicks off, it examines a very different but very real breed of monster.

My one complaint of the story is that it struggles at times to follow its own rules, namely how and where the monster can show up, for the most part they stick with it being that the monster can only show up at 8:05am when Gloria is in the park but there’s times when that’s not the case. It’s not a big thing but when you look back the inconsistencies are there.

Characters were fun, the supporting case were fairly basic but had their moments, Dan Stevens played Gloria’s asshole boyfriend Tim who never got enough time to be anything else. Tim Blake Nelson played Oscar’s fellow bar-worker and friend Garth who had some funny lines when he started rambling on and forgetting where he started off but he never really factored into the film all that much. And Austin Stowell as Joel could’ve been a bigger part of the film due to his connection with Gloria but in all honesty he was too passive and too boring to be all that memorable.

The crux of the film lies on the two leads, Jason Sudeikis as Oscar I won’t go into too much detail on because while he starts off as a typical Jason Sudeikis type, part of why the second half of the film works so well is his change in character and where he goes. It’s a character type we’ve never seen from him before but he nails it and really sells the shift in tone, Hathaway I expected to be good but Sudiekis moving away from the comedy route was a nice surprise.

Speaking of which, Anne Hathaway stars as Gloria who manages to be a mass murdering (though unintentionally) alcoholic and still have us rooting for her. The truth is that at first Gloria seems to get over her alcoholism pretty easily, which makes sense given that her new issue involves a giant monster in South Korea, but what makes her so endearing is that her desire to better herself is tackled head-on, with the deaths of hundreds weighing on her conscience she has an honest to god reason to keep from drinking again. It’s a character growth that rare to see but watching Gloria’s strength grow has us on her side quickly so when it’s thrown back at her in the second half. This is a good role for Hathaway, she has fun with it at parts but she’s able to tackle the stronger portions without any difficult, it’s good to see her taking on odder films like this.

Directed by Nacho Vigalondo, who’s no stranger to unconventional films with the likes of Timecrimes under his belt, manages to balance the film’s out-there concept with a heavy dose of reality without one overshadowing the other. He sets up the concept pretty quickly so as not to waste any time so if you’re not on board the film isn’t interested in allowing you to catch up, the how and why are explained but only just, instead the film is much more interested in just having you accept that Anne Hathaway is controlling a giant monster in South Korea and rolling with it. It’s for the better because explanations could bog the film down and enough is done for you to grasp the general concept without feeling too overwhelmed by the strangeness of it all, there’s a light-hearted quality to the first half that eases you into this world and exactly Gloria is taking this strange turn of events.

The reality kicks in with the second half which is annoying since I’m not going into any details on what happens but it’s here where the film stands out, the twist the film takes to shift to a more dramatic tone is a risky one but it showcases a bravery in its own concept to portray a very ugly but very real aspect of life and utilises the giant monster concept to add weight to the whole. In the wrong hands this could’ve been seen as cheesy or ridiculous but Vigalondo is able to use it as an extra layer to the real story he’s telling and juxtapose this very big, very strange tale with a very personal storyline around Gloria.

As odd-ball as it appears, Colossal is still accessible enough and confident enough in its concept to be worth seeing for anyone looking for something different. It has its flaws but it’s fun enough in the first half and strong enough in the second half to overlook them and has a strong double-lead with Hathaway and Sudeikis to carry the film through. Plus how often do you get a legitimate Kaiju Comedy, that alone is worth the viewing.



Other reviews of this film: Moviefreak2010 (10/10) , cobb (3/10) > Display all
LelekPL at 11:47 AM Oct 02

I really dug it. Hathaway and Sudeikis are great in it

timmyd at 05:42 PM Oct 02

^ Ditto .

Frosty_86 at 06:04 PM Oct 02

I really liked this one, I've read alot of reviews complaining about the twist the story takes. Like you I think it's a brave narrative choice.

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