For the record, I have been a fan of Anne Hathaway for years now, and I also have defended Jason Sudeikis for a long time as well. I actually enjoyed him on Saturday Night Live for the years he was on the show, in which I found out later on in life that I was apparently in the minority. I also don’t think he is a bad actor when he goes for non-comedic roles (Race, for example).
With that said, the title of this film, Colossal, ironically defines its own degree of failure.
Before I get started, I want to say I have had some people either tell me in person, or write to me and ask me why have I never just went in and totally bashed a movie yet on any of my reviews? The truth is that I have been fortunate. All of the movies I have selected to review have had at least some sort of positive traits to them. I haven’t truly selected an “awful” film since I launched the site. That is, until now.
So, for those of you who were looking for me to deliver a bloodbath, here we go.
I am not one of those troll movie critics who bash just for the sake of bashing and accumulating shock value hits. I am by no means a contrarion. All I am guilty of is keeping it real and giving my honest opinion of whatever I saw on screen. I’m never happy to ever give a negative review, let alone rip a movie. With that said, Colossal kind of asks for it.
As I mentioned, I have been fortunate to have had a relatively good run on movie choices since the site began. But like a gambler on a hot streak at the roulette table, all good things must come to an end. Unfortunately, I got greedy and didn’t cash out my chips. Equivalent to someone chasing money they lost by betting on anything in hopes to break even, I find myself having to watch one of…any of… my favorite films tonight to restore my confidence and adoration for the film industry.
I am genuinely shocked at the amount of positive reviews I’ve seen for this movie. To me, any positive review (yes, singular tense) is one too many. There are several negative reviews as well, which reflects how polarizing the public’s reaction has been to this mess. For those who somehow loved this movie, I honestly have no idea what you saw, because it couldn’t have been the same movie I just watched. I rarely say this, but to those of you who professionally critique movies and liked this, you have lost significant credibility to me.
Colossal stars the aforementioned Anne Hathaway and Jason Sudeikis as two childhood friends who cross paths later in life. They each are at different places in their lives, as well. Gloria (Hathaway) is a hot mess who just lost her boyfriend due to her out of control drinking and subsequent pathological lying. Oscar (Sudeikis) has gotten over the grief of losing his parents and now owns and manages his own bar in town.
A series of unfortunate events, caused by a series of monster attacks in Seoul, South Korea (by the way, no accident that they chose a city called Seoul to be destroyed over and over again, get it?), have brought the two closer together. Oddly enough, the same attacks will wind up pulling them further apart as the movie progresses (or digresses, depending on how you look at this one). A tug of war between what is right and wrong ensues, leaving each of the main characters on different sides.
Colossal quickly becomes strange, cheesy and highly hypocritical. I can hear supporters now saying, “You didn’t get it. The movie was a metaphor for anti-bullying and alcoholism.” Well, I agree, and it is. But I have a huge issue with the “metaphor” (and nobody adores movies with metaphors more than I do).
Indeed, Colossal is a subliminal public service announcement against bullying and alcoholism. Here is the problem – Gloria sees the ill-effects of her drinking only from the negative actions of Oscar’s drinking. Also, without giving away the ending, the denouement of this movie is two-faced and kind of disgusting. The appropriate resolution to alcoholism would be rehabilitation, and the ideal resolution to bullying would be planting empathy into the bully – not killing them, right? I thought so, too.
Evidently, director Nacho Vigalondo disagrees. I get it, Nacho. I understand that you want to make a splash and create a unique film with a deeper meaning to enhance your career and flex your creative muscles. Instead, it felt like talking to someone who goes out of their way to show you how smart they are, but in the midst of it, they actually show their true hand and reveal their actual ignorance. Vigalondo shot for the moon and tried to make a movie that provoked the audience to think, but ended up creating cinematic junk with a schizophrenic plot to go along with an awful script.
Aside from paying the two A-list actors, I figured the majority of the relatively low $15 million budget may have been spent on the visual effects, but even the monsters looked ridiculous and were laughable. If Optimus Prime was real, you wouldn’t have been able to pay him enough to portray the destructive robot seen in the film because even he would have said the role was beneath him.
I rarely ever discourage people from seeing a movie. I try telling people to determine if they like or dislike a movie for themselves. In this case, thankfully I didn’t have to pay to see this movie, but here’s a PSA of my own – don’t waste your time or hard earned money paying to see Colossal. Judging by its box office numbers (only grossing $1.35 million to this point), I’d venture to guess you probably won’t.
MATTER RATING: 3/10
BY: CHRIS GUEST