It’s hard sometimes when you watch a movie, you invest in it, you believe in it, you like it. Then a curve ball comes at you, one you didn’t expect, one you didn’t want, and now, now you can’t go back, you can’t undo that curve ball. It’s been and gone and left its mark.
Colossal sees Anne Hathaway (Interstellar, The Dark Knight Rises) as a drunken, out-of-work girl who, when her boyfriend kicks her out as he never sees her, moves back to her parent’s old place and ends up working in a bar run by an old-school friend Jason Sudeikis (We’re The Millers, Movie 43). The idea is for her to get her life back on track but things don’t go according to plan when a giant monster begins attacking Seoul and she believes she may have something to do with it.
The first hour of Colossal is really very good. Writer and director Nacho Vigalondo (Open Windows, The ABCs of Death) has crafted something that, whilst it does remind me a little of A Monster Calls, is very innovative and well thought-out it. It’s a shame that the last fifty-minutes or so, don’t quite live up to that first hour.
In fact, it’s a travesty that it doesn’t, I almost switched off and stopped watching. There’s a point where everything changes, everything switches on us but it’s just annoying, it’s a cliché, particularly how everyone acts around this person when they change. It’s infuriating, it’s a whole bunch of other words that I didn’t want to write because I was really enjoying the film up to that point! Why? Damn you!
Anne Hathaway is very good as Gloria our titular character, excellent in fact, though I have a hard time anyone can still look that good when they’ve been drinking solidly for a year and not working. Sudeikis is also very good as the old-school friend whilst Austin Stowell (Whiplash, Stratton) and Tim Blake Nelson (Lincoln, Holes) play his bar drinking buddies, which basically means they act like old-men sitting at the end of the bar drinking, which is odd as they’re not old.
I was genuinely excited and so keen to see where Vigalondo was going with all this. The beginning, with Hathaway being dumped and kicked out, sped along and it was obvious we were leading up to something big. Then, a monster, great, now what. But I wasn’t expecting what came next and I wish it hadn’t come next, or ever.
It’s supposed to be that one of the ‘gang’ turns into this controlling monster – metaphorically speaking – but it fails, badly, because there’s very little depth to this character. Even at the end we never really understand why he’s done all this, what where his motives? What was the point? It’s not clear when it happens, which leads to frustration and it’s not clear after which feels like you’ve been cheated.
Good god if I’m not still angry now, writing this. There’s such potential in Colossal, such intrigue and good writing, undone with the press of a few keys on a keyboard half-way through. Sure, as mentioned, it has similarities to A Monster Calls and perhaps Godzilla (the makers of which filed a lawsuit), but it’s different enough to work. The underlying story, one of friendship, learning who we are, being better us, is a little on the light side and should have been brought to the fore but still even that was ok.
If it all hadn’t been ruined by a character, mid-way through, going bananas for seemingly no-reason. It wasn’t for love, that might have worked, jealousy, that would have worked but no. Nothing, ‘meh’. Damn it. An infuriating watch.