Nacho Vigalondo's new very modestly budgeted opus has sci-fi and comedy elements that converge with some over-the-top surreal panache even if it doesn't quite deliver as much as it's unique set-up promises.
Colossal stars Anne Hathaway who doesn't seem to mind the chance to break away from larger scale projects like Interstellar or The Dark Knight Rises to placate her craft. Her down-on-her-luck Gloria is back to the drawing board after her British beau (Dan Stevens) has had enough of her partying. So, she's ousted from a posh Manhattan apartment and back to upstate in her family abode on an air mattress.
From a prologue to 25 years later a reappearance of a humungous reptile will ravage Seoul, Korea at exactly 8:05 am. It happens to coincides with Gloria after her benders in a park setting, and after witnessing it either on TV, a tablet or phone, she senses a special perilous Kaiju experience. That could very well be linked to her internal meltdown.
In sorting her life out Jason Sudekis's tavern-owner on the edge of town, Oscar, an old classmate having unreciprocated feelings for her, provides some furniture and a job for her. Which isn't really good for her, though for the gimmicky storyline with sketchy characterizations on the whole. After waitressing, Gloria gets to have a few with Oscar and buddies as played by Tim Blake Nelson and Austin Stowell.
The realization of how the characters realize what's happening in the Far East gives Colossal a charge, and a shift into darker terrain, specifically regarding a revelation about one of them will elicit a rise as a character study strangely plays out through monstrous mayhem.
Hathaway's watchable performance has an intensity similar to what she gave Jonathan Demme in Rachel Getting Married and she buys into Vigalondo's vision; Sudekis is gleeful in boasting a turn much different than in large studio ventures like We're The Millers. On the whole, nonetheless, Colossal is bereft of the emotional, relational detailing that could have been probed in its weaving of the captivating and the absurd, kind of like the emphasis on the physical personification from an individual's self-destruction.