For all its originality, ‘Colossal’ never feels like anything but an average film that feels lost between genres. There’s hints of comedy but its not that funny. There’s touches of science fiction but it doesn’t feel like a sci fi. There’s some dramatic scenes but it never feels like a character driven drama. It’s such a strange one to review because in many ways I can’t fault Director Nacho Vigalondo’s desire to step out the box and try something new. Its such a breath of fresh air to see something different and for a film to take a risk but it just doesn’t feel all that memorable.
The story blends a unique spin of monster movie and dramatic comedy following self-destructive party girl Gloria (Anne Hathaway), who’s forced out of her apartment and has to move back home. Once there, reports begin to surface from Seoul, South Korea of a giant monster roaming the city at a pre-set time every day. Gradually, she starts to realize that somehow this strange phenomena is linked to her and her actions. It starts out promising enough but the film devolves into stepping between genres, never quite sure on what tone to set. As I mentioned before, there’s pockets of humour thrown in but they only appear in the first 40 minutes or so. There’s some dramatic scenes but they all occur late on and the monster, which only really appears via news reports, is not on screen for vast periods of time to make it a hard science fiction. The film does have a clever, original ending though that resolved the conflict well but the film just kind of ends which was a little jarring.
Of course, I won’t spoil anything but I felt like the characters never really grew or changed in any meaningful way. Gloria is still jobless and aimless at the end as she was at the start of the film and the supporting characters never really go anywhere either, they just exist for no other purpose but to accentuate Gloria’s troubles. It’s a shame because there’s good work put into making this one of the most unique, original monster movies in recent history but it almost feels like this was done with tunnel vision, disregarding the characters in a way that made them feel like props rather than actual people.
Beyond its faults though, ‘Colossal’ is a good film. Despite its lack of focus with its genre and lacklustre supporting cast, its originality deserves to be applauded. In a time of endless sequels, reboots and spin offs that are dominating Hollywood, seeing something original like this is pretty Colossal in itself.