Colossal is a cute and clever “monster movie” where the CGI is kept to a minimum and done on a cool scale with a unique looking monster and some game performances from Anne Hathaway (long haired Anne POWER!), Jason Sudeikis, and everyone else in the cast, who all signed up for an inherently asinine little film but played it totally straight, and it all works even if the central narrative pull isn’t as compelling as it might’ve been with a few more passes on the script. The notion of an irresponsible person conjuring up a city-destroying monster as a result of their alcoholic behavior is what this Nacho Vigalondo written and directed film is mostly about, and it marks yet another quirky genre-bending effort from this stylish Spanish filmmaker, after the rather excellent Timecrimes and the sly-sexy Extraterrestrial (I’ve not yet seen Open Windows).
Produced and released independently on a reported budget of $15 million, Colossal is the type of project where I could see all of the creative execs and studio producers reading it as a spec and saying “Damn, that was great and original and fresh, but yeah, we’re not going to make this movie here.” Which is a bummer. Because while not perfect, this is the type of original idea movie that used to get moved along at the studio level, but is no longer seen as important or fiscally responsible. There’s a nice undercurrent of social subtext that runs throughout the loopy narrative, and while I wished that certain elements had been taken a bit further to develop even more conflict, I definitely had some fun watching this off-beat item, and I think it’ll develop into a cult favorite for many people over the years.