Colossal (2016)


Directed by Nacho Vigalondo
Country: USA

An entertaining trifle is what the Spanish writer/director Nacho Vigalondo forges with “Colossal”, his new adventurous and dramatic fantasy starring Anne Hathaway and Jason Sudeikis as two childhood friends turned antagonists.

Hathaway is Gloria, an aimless thirty-something unemployed writer who loves the New York nightlife and renounces professional help for the increasing drinking problem that is ruining her life. Her condescending boyfriend, Tim (Dan Stevens), sees no other solution besides abandoning her to her own luck, but never imagined she could recover so well after moving back to her hometown, to the same house where she and her late parents lived before.

Once (un)comfortably installed, she bumps into a childhood friend, Oscar (Sudeikis), who invites her to hang out with him and his pals Garth (Tim Blake Nelson) and Joel (Austin Stowell). Night after night, they reunite at Oscar’s bar to drink until the first rays of the morning appear in the sky. Gloria’s addictive situation doesn’t seem to get any better, but radically changes with the fantastic discovery that the gigantic monster-lizard that keeps destroying the city of Seoul is a factual creation of her nebulous mind and restless psychological state. She's the one who commands its activity with a synchronous precision through the movements of her own body. Responsibility calls her to reason, but she resolves to play a bit more after revealing the stupefying secret to her friends.

Oscar, who always had a secret crush on her, becomes conscious that he can also play this game if he jumps into the park’s magic spot where everything happens and finds that his Korean 'avatar' is a huge robot. 
His repulsive nature is fully disclosed from the moment that Gloria rejects his advances in favor of Joel, driving him mad with jealousy.

The small park they used to play as kids, becomes the real battle arena, but the dangerous confrontations happen in Seoul, where the scene is emulated with massive proportions.
Some situations, even fabricated, are funny and hit the right nerve while others, like the one when Oscar sets the bar on fire, are not so convincing or even properly implemented.

The flawed “Colossal” takes advantage of these trendy manias of monsters vs. robots (the computer animation is passable) and superheroes’ messy personal lives.
Vigalondo, whose discreet filmmaking past revealed an inclination for sci-fi and thriller, aims at both young and mature audiences by exposing them to a blend of fantasy, dark comedy, feeble romance, and drama. He is now relishing all the attention given to his film, after adopting the right feel-good posture and precipitating a hazy, somewhat pretentious game between reality and fiction.