Colossal

Action,Comedy,Drama

Bizarre and rather wonderful black comedy in cinemas now Discuss this article

2017_colosal
© ITP Images

Talk about a sledgehammer metaphor: when aimless party girl Gloria (Anne Hathaway) starts to slip into addiction issues, her fractured psyche somehow conjures a thousand-foot lizard in South Korea that destroys anything it touches.

That’s the starting premise for this determinedly bizarre, psychologically inquisitive and in the end rather wonderful black comedy from Spanish director Nacho Vigalondo. Think Trainwreck meets Pacific Rim, basically.

Gloria’s life is already in decline before Godzilla shows up: she’s just been booted out by her prissy New York partner (Dan Stevens), forcing her back to her folks’ home in rustic Nowheresville. It’s here that she meets Oscar (Jason Sudeikis) and his close circle of dropout buddies. And then Seoul gets flattened, and everything gets properly weird.

For the first half, Colossal lurches amusingly, if a little awkwardly, from smart, snappy indie comedy to oddball disaster movie and back again, carried along by a wry, casually self-mocking performance from Hathaway. But every time it seems poised to tip into nod-wink hipster self-parody, the plot twists and everything gets sharper and more savage. Not everyone here is quite who they appear to be, and the city-smashing antics take a back seat to the gripping, at times brutal character melodrama.

There are times when it feels just a little too pleased with its own wilful strangeness. But by the climax, all concerns have gone out the window, as Vigalondo delivers an operatic finale that feels both earned and genuinely cathartic. For better and worse, you won’t have seen a movie like Colossal before, and you won’t again. And that, in itself, is why you should.

The bottom line
Weird and wonderful, this one’s a keeper.

By Tom Huddleston
Time Out Doha,

Colossal

  • Duration: 109
  • Released: Thu, 11 May
  • Language: English
  • Director: Nacho Vigalondo
  • Stars: Anne Hathaway, Jason Sudeikis, Austin Stowell

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