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Review: Colossal

Jason Sudeikis and Anne Hathaway star in Neon's COLOSSAL

For people like me, a coherent story is usually one of the most vital elements of storytelling. The only way I can kind of forgive a piece of entertainment for not having it is when there’s something like insane action or a large number of funny jokes being included in its place. However, when a movie doesn’t have those types of captivating qualities, they fail and prove to be a complete waste of time. In the case of Colossal, we have something that features none of those things and a run time that allows for a whole lot more while providing almost nothing that can be appreciated or admired.

Colossal places the spotlight on Gloria (Anne Hathaway), an out-of-work and irresponsible alcoholic who finds herself back in her hometown after being kicked out of the apartment that she shared with her boyfriend (Dan Stevens) in New York. Things don’t appear as if they can get any worse for her until she comes to understand that she’s connected to a giant creature that’s been destroying one specific area in Seoul, South Korea. As she begins to put the pieces together, she’s also connecting with some new and old faces in her hometown who may be able to help her uncover the mysteries behind this recent discovery.

After being introduced to everyone in the movie, you’ll begin to realize that not one person seen here is likeable, engaging or contain any kind of redeemable qualities. Because of this, the average person will likely have a difficult time relating to the movie in any way or even enjoying it. Even if the only person you could like was the protagonist to some degree, that would at least give us one person to empathize with. Unfortunately, it’s hard to even root for her to improve because she doesn’t even have any of the qualities that would allow for that to happen.

The movie fails more and more as it moves along. They try to get serious and that doesn’t work because Jason Sudeikis is the guy who initiates this shift. He’s sometimes decent in comedic roles, but asking him to be a catalyst of sorts for this kind of turn proves to be a very risky move that doesn’t pay off. Adding to this is that there’s no real character development here. These people are who they are and simply change when it’s required of them. There’s no build up and nothing is earned here.

The only thing I gave this picture credit for at first was its use of a concept that looked to be original at the start. However, Colossal loses focus and everything begins to dissolve around the unlikeable characters that we’re asked to follow around for the entire unbalanced, confusing and painful journey. And once you include its run time, this becomes an even more challenging to sit through. Another thing that bogs it down more is its boring, somber tone as we slowly move through something that looks unfamiliar to us for a good chunk of time.

After all of this uneven storytelling, you may realize that this movie isn’t as original as you thought it was. As it approaches the end, you’ll start to understand that this is essentially about promoting female empowerment again. Obviously, this is something that is anything but original these days as it’s become a primary source of storytelling in modern filmmaking. So with that being the case, even the sense of originality almost dies completely once this aspect of the film begins to reveal itself.

That feature may be enough for some people to like the movie, but it likely won’t be enough for anyone who requires anything resembling some kind of legitimate structure or for those who would simply want to be entertained by what they’re watching. Because of this and all of the other factors that I described, Colossal is a failure in pretty much every way imaginable.

Like someone who’s had a few too many drinks, Colossal stumbles around because it doesn’t have the ability to walk straight. By some miracle, it finds its way home only to wake up the next day still not being able to operate properly due to an insane hangover. That’s essentially what happens when this film reaches it conclusion, because it gets its female empowerment message across, but it does so with an ending that doesn’t even begin to make sense.

Direction: Nacho Vigalondo

Anne Hathaway
Jason Sudeikis
Dan Stevens
Austin Stowell
Tim Blake Nelson

Film Length: 110 minutes

Release Date: April 7, 2017

Distributor: Neon

  • Score - 1/10
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