I have to give it to the creative team behind the genre bending indie film Colossal. Somehow, they’ve managed to take two seemingly unrelated genres—middle aged angst and giant monsters—and meshed them together in a way that on paper would have looked ridiculous, but somehow works for most of the film’s running time. Although the ending leaves a bit to be desired, as a whole, Colossal is such a unique experience that surely credit must be given to writer/director, Nacho Vigalondo, for even attempting such a feat.
Gloria, as wonderfully embodied by Anne Hathaway, is one those types who continues to party as if they’re still a teenager, although middle is lurking around the corner. She’s way past the point of being labeled a party girl and is on the fast track to earning the moniker of full-fledged alcoholic. Gloria left her hometown for the big city in pursuit of earning her keep as a writer but now finds herself unemployed and trying her boyfriend’s patience on a regular basis. When the couple breaks up, Gloria winds up having to return to her small town in order to sort her life out. It isn’t long before she reconnects with Oscar (Jason Sudeikis), a former classmate who owns a local bar and still harbors unrequited romantic feelings for Gloria, even though Gloria has clearly moved on with her life in the intervening years.
It’s at this point that the film takes a wild left turn when a giant monster begins wreaking havoc in Seoul. Gloria finds it strange that she seems to black out whenever the monster chooses to make an appearance. Eventually, Gloria discovers that she has a psychic connection to the monster, which causes her to reevaluate her lifestyle. And, yes, I’m aware of how crazy that last sentence reads but that’s exactly what transpires.
For a film that was clearly made on a limited budget Colossal does boast some pretty impressive special effects sequences. Though most of them appear to have been achieved digitally they are quite effectively done and credit must be given for what has been accomplished with so little with which to work.
As previously stated, the ending of the film leaves a bit to be desired but that’s only because the film comes to a point where there’s simply no where else to go other than the conclusion that is eventually reached. If pressed for an answer as to how it could have ended more effectively I’m not sure I could come up with any solutions. Still, credit must be given for what there is to admire in the film and what it does get right. There’s just enough to recommend it on a limited basis even if it is a decidedly mixed affair.
Colossal is playing in Charlotte, check online for locations and showtimes.
Jason Sudeikis & Anne Hathaway in Colossal
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