One of the most interesting things about genre films is how well the genre can be used as a metaphor for a real life issue. But what if one could use genre to literally explore a real-life issue?
That’s where Nacho Vigalondo’s latest film, Colossal comes in.
Anne Hathaway stars as Gloria, an unemployed New York City-based writer. After spending one too many nights partying hard and drinking harder, her boyfriend Tim (Legion’s Dan Stevens) dumps her, sending her back to her hometown.
While in her hometown, she reconnects with a childhood friend, a local bartender named Oscar (Jason Sudeikis), and also discovers that, well, when she’s drunk, she seems to control a giant monster who has been terrorizing Seoul, South Korea.
Yep! That’s the type of movie we’re in for here, folks! Strap in!
Yes, the alcoholism-as-real-monster idea isn’t the cleverest of takes, but it’s met with gusto by Vigalondo and his very very game cast, including Hathaway proving – much as she did in Rachel Getting Married – that her strongest work comes as a screw-up, and Jason Sudeikis seeing his “affable asshole” role to it’s strongest extreme yet.
The movie is an enjoyable watch, and truly seems to have fun with its genre trappings, but the biggest issue with Colossal is it’s a fun idea that would’ve best been explored as a short, not as much as the lengthy dark comedy that the movie results in. Great performances only go so far when the story itself feels a bit threadbare and loose.
For fans of the kaiju genre, this is a great mash-up of tastes, but for all others, you may find yourself checking your watch. I recommend making this a VOD rental.
Colossal is in theaters now.