Anne Hathaway's inner demons become a very real monster in this muddled sci-fi comedy-drama from the writer-director of Timecrimes
Spanish writer-director Nacho Vigalondo (Timecrimes) makes a bid for the American mainstream with Colossal, a high-concept indie that’s part character study, part blockbuster audition.
Gloria (Hathaway) is a down on her luck writer, who retreats back to her quiet hometown from New York City after her boyfriend (Stevens) evicts her. Half-heartedly trying to get her life together, she accepts work at the bar owned by childhood friend Oscar (Sudeikis). Following a late night bender, world-changing news comes from across the globe: a giant monster (of the kaiju mould of Godzilla or Pacific Rim) has attacked Seoul. Gloria’s horrified enough by the far-flung catastrophe, but things get even worse when repeat attacks suggest that she, through very specific circumstances, may be controlling the creature.
While never less than engaging, and often fairly witty, Colossal is certainly muddled, veering awkwardly between darkness and goofiness. Vigalondo also never quite decides whether the film’s allegorical thrust is more concerned with alcoholism or toxic, closeted misogyny, with mixed metaphors rendering the finale’s attempt at catharsis somewhat lacking. [Josh Slater-Williams]