by Flo Dwek
Need a sanity break from the mind-numbing roar of politics and media-speak incessantly washing over you? Then come up for air from your own personal Niagara—and immerse yourself in the far out realms of this offbeat and quirky Sci-Fi/Horror/Anti-Rom-Com flick (yes, it’s all that!)—the sooner, the better.
Anne Hathaway stars as our heroine, Gloria, a boozy, woozy character with Kewpie doll eyes, full, low cut bangs and a radiant, fleshy-lipped sensuality that goes full blast neutron on screen. (Even this early in the year, Hathaway’s smart and sensitive comic performance could very well land her an Oscar nod.)
Gloria’s wacky, dumbstruck antics are the highlight of this dark and funny film written and directed by Spanish filmmaker Nacho Vigalondo (TIMECRIMES, OPEN WINDOWS). With an original, campy premise (no spoilers here!) and a storyline at full tilt, it has all the makings of an instant cult classic.
Ginormous Korean monsters and panicked crowds? Check! Crazy-ass romancing and fist fights? Check! Weird and sinister happenings in Seoul and in a soul-less flyover town? Check and check again! Vigalondo has them all covered—and then some.
The treacherous anti-hero in this unpredictable and suspenseful tale is Jason Sudeikis (SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE, WE’RE THE MILLERS, HORRIBLE BOSSES) who plays Oscar, Gloria’s childhood friend and nemesis.
Sudeikis brilliantly tosses out Oscar’s well honed lines like silk scarves and barbed wire, putting everyone on edge, including Gloria and his two beer swilling pals, craggy Garth (Tim Blake Nelson) and baby faced Joel (Austin Stowell).
What a delight to watch Sudeikis, in two pivotal bar scenes, reveal Oscar’s pent-up hostility and monstrous intents— enslaved by drink and his deep seated fears, longings and regrets—in step, by controlling step.
Together, Oscar and Gloria make a truly colossal pair, ping-ponging between self-preservation and mutual destruction, as they battle each other through their mysterious monster avatars.
Caught up, both emotionally and physically, in a surreal, Sci-Fi realm that is half fantasy and half reality, each remains fixated on controlling the robotic demons that have possessed them from within. Smart phones and social media broadcast their jaw-dropping hijinks to the insatiable global masses.
Thanks to Vigalondo’s magicians of FX mayhem, you can revel in rampaging monsters, disintegrating skyscrapers and cowering crowds. (Kudos to cinematographer Eric Kress for some hipster-cool images and to editors Ben Baudhuin and Luke Doolan for memorable monster mashups.)
There is also a melodious, full bodied score by the great Bear McCreary (BATTLESTAR GALACTICA, OUTLANDER, THE WALKING) to keep you juiced and wired through it all.
After all the fun you have viewing COLOSSAL, you may work up a sudden urge to stream a fright night’s worth of classic monster flicks, GODZILLA at the top, with a few dark and lowbrow beers at the ready.
Here’s to the movies!
COLOSSAL, Rated R. Run time: 110 min.
Duly noted: three women—Arielle Boisvert, Nahikari Ipiña and Sophia Dilley—are listed as co-producers of this film. Production company: Voltage Pictures, Brightlight Pictures, Sayaka Producciones
World Premier: Toronto International Film Festival, September 9, 2016.
Distributed by: NEON
Per Box Office Mojo: “LegionM, the first fan owned studio, partnered with NEON to help bring the film to market.”