Colossal Movie Review
Colossal is a surprisingly dark drama about abuse and addiction masked and marketed as a concept comedy in which Anne Hathaway unknowingly channels a gigantic monster that wreaks havoc on the other side of the planet. In other words, you should probably stay clear.
Writer/director Nacho Vigalondo has undeniably created a unique movie that plays with an intriguing concept and interesting ideas. The idea of a kaiju monster trashing Seoul simply because it is controlled by an out-of-control alcoholic blissfully unaware of the consequences is pure movie magic, a premise that could be applied to many genres. The marketing team seemed to think so as well and decided to promote the film as an indie comedy. And moments scattered throughout the film also seem to imply that Vigalondo was going for some offbeat laughs.
Unfortunately, Colossal isn’t a comedy. Not even close.
That on its own isn’t a problem—the problem is that Colossal just isn’t a rewarding watch. Vigalondo explores some fascinating subjects, but the exploration itself is a chore. While the movie picks up in the second half, the complexities he introduces simply do not click in a synergistic way. It isn’t clear what exactly Vigalondo is trying to tell us as he seems to throw a lot at the screen to see what sticks. The dynamic between Hathaway and co-star Jason Sudeikis results in a lot of fireworks, but the ultimate revelation between the two of them is ho-hum.
Colossal could have delivered the same themes but with more tonal consistency and a willingness to be just a little funnier given the ridiculous concept at the heart of the film. The movie’s final moment seems to imply that this is what Vigalondo was going for the entire time, but that is not what is represented by the final product.
Colossal has a lot going for it, but it works about as well as you’d expect for a drama that features a gigantic monster—the film is a mishmash of ideas that fails to find its core. It’s an ambitious movie, but ambition doesn’t always pay off.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.