Review: Anne Hathaway becomes a total monster in madcap Colossal

Anne Hathaway as Gloria in Nacho Vigalondo�s inventive and daring Colossal. Picture: Entertainment F

Anne Hathaway as Gloria in Nacho Vigalondo�s inventive and daring Colossal. Picture: Entertainment Film/Chris Helcermanas-Benge - Credit: Chris Helcermanas-Benge

Spanish writer-director Nacho Vigalondo plays with madness in his inventive and daring homage to Godzilla, which mashes the monster mayhem with an offbeat indie romantic comedy.

Colossal (15)

***

Anne Hathaway becomes a total monster when she is drunk or hungover. Not any old monster, but a Godzilla sized brute who causes chaos in downtown Seoul.

After losing her job and being dumped by her boyfriend (Dan Stevens), New York City party girl Gloria (Hathaway) has to quit Manhattan and head back to her home town where she is reacquainted with school buddy Oscar (Jason Sudeikis) and continues to drink heavily, just as a monster starts to make appearances in the South Korean capital. The worse her life gets, the worse the monsters attacks.


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Spanish writer-director Nacho Vigalondo's best known film is Time Crimes, an admirably twisted tale of paradoxical time travel that features the only known instance of gratuitous female nudity that is absolutely essential to the plot.

Now he has come up with a premise that offers a very fluid allegory both of US Imperialism and its self absorption.

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She's so vain, she makes the destruction of downtown Seoul all about her and her relationship issues.

I was impressed by Collosal's invention and daring but will concede that it offers audiences numerous opportunities to turn against it.

The comedy doesn't really come across, the plotting is contrived and the acting is patchy. Hathaway, looking like a young Kate Bush after a half hearted Goth makeover, doesn't scrub down convincingly, while Stevens is spineless like a neutered Hugh Grant.

But Sudeikis, a man whose movie career (like so many others) seem predicated on American audiences having once got overexcited about something he did on Saturday Night Live, gives a stunning performance. Granted, his is by far the best written role, but the way he handles his character's transformation from supportive buddy to... (no spoilers here) is unexpectedly convincing.

You don't see it coming, but when it comes you realise how meticulously it has been set up and executed.

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