RogerBW's Blog

Colossal 13 February 2021

2016, dir. Nacho Vigalondo, Anne Hathaway, Jason Sudeikis: IMDb / allmovie. Gloria is a drunken wreck who's gone back to her hometown; and a giant monster is rampaging through Seoul. Spoilers.

Well, one great big spoiler, which I think was in the trailers: it rapidly becomes apparent that the monster's movements are perfectly synchronised with hers.

As fantastic stories go, this is much more towards the Groundhog Day end of things than the 2001: nobody knows, or even particularly tries to find out, why that synchronisation is happening, or where the monster's coming from and going to between its few minutes of rampaging every day. This feeling of fantasy is only enhanced by the ending, which makes little sense even on its own terms. That's not what matters here. What matters is the people

…but alas the people are depressingly simple, as is the story they tell. I mean, sure, "damaged people spread damage all around them", and "seemingly nice people aren't necessarily", but for me that's not enough to carry the whole film. Yes, Gloria doesn't know what's going on with her whole self-hatred thing at the start of the film, but she doesn't know at the end either; she's realised that she is a drunken wreck, but there's very little to indicate that she isn't going to go straight back to being one.

Meanwhile, someone's definitely been reading about abusers' behaviour patterns, and if you're at all familiar with those the use of them here is so pat as to seem trite.

It's a real shame, because this film feels as if it has something to say and keeps almost saying it, but its treatment of its characters never really moves beyond very superficial roles. The acting, by Hathaway in particular, can be superb as she tries to bring some human complexity into the story, and that makes the film watchable for me, but there are still too many predictable scenes that play out all too slowly along their tracks.

Another opinion: MaryAnn Johanson.

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