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Colossal

I spent part of my Easter watching a couple of movies at the Angelika Film Center. I was pleasantly surprised by Tommy’s Honour. I was pleasantly surprised by the original concept that was Colossal. In a time when everyone wants to reboot monster movies (I’m looking at you Kong: Skull Island) or do sequels, more movies like this need to be made. It’s also nice that more theatres (I’m looking at you Angelika) will carry these. Landmark Theatres doesn’t have a monopoly on indie pictures anymore.

Writer/director Nacho Vigalondo (Timecrimes, Open Windows) just didn’t do a very good job in the overall execution and writing.

Part of my problem is that I didn’t care for the two leads in these roles.

Anne Hathaway is Gloria. After coming back to her boyfriend’s (Dan Stevens of Downton Abbey) apartment after drinking all night, he kicks her out. She returns to her hometown, and in my list of movie pet peeves — something that falls at #72. She conveniently has an empty house to live in. As she’s dragging an air mattress home from the store, old acquaintance Oscar (Jason Sudeikis) stops his truck to pick her up. They reconnect, and he brings her to the bar he inherited from his dad (that doesn’t fall onto my pet peeve list yet, although we just saw that in Trainspotting 2). Since she has a drinking problem, it probably wasn’t the best job choice to start working at the watering hole. But her options are limited.

A monster that is dangerously close to falling on my pet peeve list (it looks like Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy, and the tree monster Liam Neeson voiced in A Monster Calls). This monster terrorizes Seoul, Korea at the same time Gloria shows up at a park. My wife asked me late in the movie, “Why are the people of Seoul still eating and hanging out in that area, when they know this monster returns at that time?”

Well, that’s one of many plot holes, but with such a crazy premise, I let stuff like that slide. What I don’t let slide are things like the bar regulars/friends of Oscar. Tim Blake Nelson is amusing as a druggy boozer, but Austin Stowell (Whiplash) made no sense. He’s quiet. We know nothing about him, or why he continues to stand around listening to the boorish and bullying behavior of Oscar.

The first half of the movie was interesting and humorous. The second half of the movie was a mess. That doesn’t mean there weren’t a few good scenes. One confrontation with Oscar and the old boyfriend was intriguing. Then Oscar started getting violent in a way that made me feel uneasy. The whole thing just started feeling creepy.

It needed more depth, too. You don’t get to have a few metaphors and have everyone consider your movie deep. Especially when it feels like a Kaiju-monster, Pacific Rim vehicle with a lower budget.

Gloria’s often scratching her head in this movie. By the end, so was I.

This gets 1 ½ stars out of 5. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.