Thursday, April 20, 2017

Movie Review: "Colossal" (2017)

Director: Nacho Vigalondo
Rating: R
Running Time: 1 hour, 50 minutes
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Gloria has lost control of her life and has returned to her hometown to get it back in order. This coincides with a mysterious monster that appears in Seoul, South Korea and destroys part of the city. Gloria soon discovers that she and the monster have a mysterious connection, and now, she must solve that problem as well.

"Colossal" is written and directed by Nacho Vigalondo, who is probably best known for his 2007 horror film "Timecrimes." It stars Anne Hathaway as Gloria, a woman who embraces the party lifestyle and abuses alcohol constantly, which gets her in trouble with her boyfriend Tim, played by Dan Stevens. Eventually, because of her binging, Tim kicks her out of his apartment. Out of options, Gloria returns to her hometown and gets a job waiting tables at a bar owned by her  childhood friend named Oscar, played by Jason Sudeikis. Just as she returns to her hometown, a giant monster appears from literally out of nowhere in Seoul, South Korea, destroying parts of the city in its wake. Eventually, Gloria comes to realize she and the monster are connected, which causes more strife, unintended consequences, and chaos in her already royally screwed up life. 

This is a darkly comedic sci-fi drama that uses a giant kaiju monster as a metaphor for some deep real life situations. When the film starts off, its tone is almost comedic as it looks to set up a rom-com scenario with a Godzilla-esque twist. Surprisingly, the film takes an extremely dark turn about midway through its run time that completely alters the audience's perspective on many things and threw us for a loop. The tone of the story completely changes as it starts to explore intense situations we hadn't anticipated from a movie featuring a city-destroying monster. This shift may be off-putting to some, but we found it quite gripping and manages to keep the audience guessing as to where exactly it's heading. It could have gone really hokey really quickly, but luckily, Nacho Vigalondo never wanes in his vision. In addition, the acting is quite good here. Others may certainly disagree, but we think Anne Hathaway is fantastic as Gloria and can certainly sell the "life in shambles" angle. Her part requires her to be multiple things throughout the course of the plot, from a foggy binge drinker to a badass protector. Gloria has to seek redemption in more ways than one, and we think Hathaway truly fits the bill. Jason Sudeikis has an excellent screen presence as usual. He is a charismatic man and is even quite likable at times, but also has many layers to this role as he maybe harboring ulterior motives. Their chemistry is really something, and that's all we'll say for fear of spoilers. Finally, the visual effects are striking and excellent for a movie with a $15 million budget.

If we had to critique one thing, it's that not every aspect of "Colossal" is completely wrapped up tightly. Things are brought up and eluded too that never get explained or wrapped up in a neat manner. However, we enjoyed the concept and overall theme so much that it doesn't matter to us whether every little detail had a conclusion or not. 

"Colossal" is not playing in a ton of theaters, but if you can find this charming, bizarre, deceptively immersive film, it is definitely worth a watch. Though not entirely without faults, it's innovative, funny, smart, and wicked enough to illicit a viewing.

My Rating: 8/10
BigJ's Rating: 8/10
IMDB's Rating: 6.8/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 78%
Do we recommend this movie: Yes!

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