Bonkers but not bril­liant

Rutherglen Reformer - - The Ticket -

Anne Hath­away con­trol­ling a giant mon­ster ram­pag­ing through Seoul with her mind.

As premises go, Colossal is far from run-ofthe-mill, but given it comes from the mind of Span­ish writer-di­rec­tor Na­cho Vi­ga­londo – who helmed twisty 2007 sci-fi mys­tery Time­crimes – per­haps it should come as no sur­prise that the story is so out there.

Hath­away’s New York party girl Glo­ria is forced to move back to her small home town, where she re­unites with child­hood friend Os­car (Ja­son Sudeikis) and dis­cov­ers her jaw­drop­ping con­nec­tion to the enor­mous rep­til­ian kaiju.

Like Drink­ing Bud­dies-meets-Godzilla, Colossal mashes up the in­die com­edy with block­buster-style de­struc­tion to en­joy­able – but flawed – ef­fect.

Vi­ga­londo squeezes ev­ery cent out of his rel­a­tively small $15 mil­lion bud­get to film some gen­uinely im­pres­sive mon­ster ef­fects that sug­gest he’s worth a punt to direct a ma­jor fran­chise tent-pole.

His strange beast of a movie also never heads in the di­rec­tions you ex­pect it to; for ev­ery fre­quently dark-toned laugh there’s a sur­pris­ing turn deep into a char­ac­ter’s trou­bled physique – or crea­ture de­struc­tion.

Keep­ing the au­di­ence go­ing ev­ery step of the way is a plucky Hath­away – no stranger to this type of role via her work in Rachel Get­ting Mar­ried and Love & Other Drugs.

She does a fine job play­ing an un­rav­el­ling hero­ine who comes to the re­al­i­sa­tion that there are more im­por­tant things in life than star­ing at the bottom of a bot­tle of booze.

Equally im­pres­sive is Sudeikis – an ac­tor whose work I’ve al­ways en­joyed. He’s as charm­ing as ever, but Vi­ga­londo gifts him a lay­ered char­ac­ter who takes a few dark turns in a per­for­mance that gets a lot more out of Sudeikis’ tal­ents than any num­ber of Hor­ri­ble Bosses movies.

Head­ing up the cast are Tim Blake Nel­son (Garth) and Austin Stow­ell (Joel) as Os­car’s witty, straight-talk­ing bud­dies and Dan Stevens (Tim), sad­dled with a thank­less task as Glo­ria’s un­for­giv­ing boyfriend in the Brit’s weak­est big screen out­ing yet.

There’s no es­cap­ing the fact that Vi­ga­londo’s flick is weird – very weird. The up and down tone won’t be for ev­ery­one and on more than one oc­ca­sion it feels like the di­rec­tor has fused about three dif­fer­ent films to­gether.

And crit­ics of comic book movies’ death and de­struc­tion-packed fi­nal acts will bris­tle at the throw­away man­ner in which the likely loss of thou­sands of peo­ple in Seoul is dis­missed in favour of Glo­ria’s thoughts and feel­ings.

Com­par­isons with the even more bonkers Be­ing John Malkovich are un­war­ranted and the bleak fi­nal act sucks the life out of pro­ceed­ings.

Orig­i­nal­ity in Hol­ly­wood has to be em­braced, though, and Vi­ga­londo and his cast take us on an off-the-wall jour­ney that we won’t soon for­get.

Mon­ster may­hemHath­away has a lot on her mind

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