Colossal – Review

Anne Hathaway as Gloria in Colossal – Courtesy of Transmission Films.

Colossal is a film that should neither work nor exist; yet it functions firmly as a dark comedy with just enough drama, suspense, and quirkiness to keep you intrigued till the very end.

Colossal is a sci-fi comedy directed by Nacho Vigalondo – it follows the story of a young woman with an alcohol problem attempting to restructure her life in her hometown while a gigantic monster terrorizes Korea, and the realization that she may have more in common with this monster than she imagined.

Colossal is a peculiar story of regret, self-hatred, and facing your demons (or in this case “monsters”), these messages are what the entire film mirror – the protagonist portrayed by Anne Hathaway is supposed to reflect these messages and for the most part she succeeds in convincing us; most of the careless decisions that she makes feel natural to the character, however a portion of them felt forced and offered no relevance or qualities to the plot, even adding a level of frustration that wasn’t necessary. Despite some drawbacks with Hathaway’s character, we were offered a fantastic performance by Jason Sudeikis playing the role of the childhood friend – his performance elevated the entire story and supplied the bulk of its emotional sequences; we were utterly surprised by how much range Jason Sudeikis showed as an actor throughout this film, if there is any film that was to convince you that Sudeikis has talent, Colossal is it.

As mentioned above the film had some wishy-washy character moments and perhaps had issues with being coherent as an overall plot. Some story decisions were added for the sole purpose of forcing the plot to work and resulted in disrupting character flow, we would have preferred smoother character development but the comedy and emotional layers to the characters make up for this. The fact that this film managed to essentially mix Trainwreck (2015) and Pacific Rim (2013) together and make it entertaining is something to respect.

While the film had some admirable shots and distinct visual queues, it didn’t offer a notable style that we could recognize, the editing mixed with shot placement were substandard and were perhaps the least impressive parts of the film. The CGI fulfilled its purpose as a whole, but could have been dramatically improved if the production design was better, the setting was dreary and offered little to think about, just like the film’s soundtrack.

Nacho Vigalondo succeeded where many directors would have failed, he offers his original screenplay and concept in all its glory, it had trouble with defining the reasons for some characters decisions but offered strong dialogue and intensity that we never would have expected from a story like this.

7/10

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