You won’t see another film quite like Colossal this year. It’s best you know as little as possible going into this unique and wildly ambitious film, whose madness only just begins with the concept of Gloria (Anne Hathaway) inexplicably gaining control over a Godzilla-esque kaiju rampaging through Seoul.
At its most basic, this big idea treads the same ground as most superhero films, wondering how sudden power would change us – for better or worse. In Colossal, it mostly just makes Gloria’s flaws and failures larger than life.
And there’s the problem. At the end of the day, Nacho Vigalondo’s script is a waste of a potentially incredible concept. The consequences of Gloria’s new powers aren’t fully explored, and they only relate to her personal problems in the most cursory ways. Vigalondo’s premise offers an ingenious way into exploring some complex issues, but he never quite takes the leap.
The nuts and bolts of the script could do with a few more drafts of polish as well, with throwaway dialogue and flimsy supporting characters detracting from the core of the story. Thankfully, this core is formidable, with Anne Hathaway and Jason Sudeikis putting in great performances. Their comic timing is strong, and if neither quite nails the emotional depths they gesture at, it feels more like a failure of the script than their acting.
There are a few brief moments that show you what cinema can do better than any other medium. Nothing else could hit you like a lightning bolt with just the power of a fierce soundtrack, the right camera move and a closeup of raw emotion on an actress’ face.
Colossal is an incredible idea that never quite delivers on its potential. Even so, it’s really a film you should discover for yourself, warts and all.
CAST: Anne Hathaway, Jason Sudeikis, Dan Stevens, Tim Blake Nelson, Austin Stowell
DIRECTOR: Nacho Vigalondo
WRITERS: Nacho Vigalondo
SYNOPSIS: A woman discovers that severe catastrophic events are somehow connected to the mental breakdown from which she’s suffering.