Colossal doesn’t ever fully explain why Anne Hathaway or Jason Sudeikis are able to summon creatures of mass terror and destruction just by stepping into a playground sandbox. The movie definitely tells the story of how it happened but not necessarily the science of why. Really, we don’t really expect or care that much, since most of this film’s humor and plot are derived from Hathaway and Sudeikis having fun battling each other’s giant monsters, while also battling their own personal demons.
It’s a clever concept with a satisfying ending, but Colossal kind of trudges along slowly like one of its giant monsters who crushes Seoul. Hathaway and Sudeikis play unlikable characters, which is intended, but you mostly feel indifferent to them or what their fates may be. There’s nothing wrong with Hathaway’s character is selfish and lazy, but she is just too selfish and lazy and not much else. Sudeikis transforms from his atypical friendly guy role to a more deluded abuser, but once the shock value wears off, he’s just more tiring than anything. There’s some interesting themes you can pull from this movie too about alcoholism and even U.S. involvement in foreign affairs. But you just won’t really want to. If anything, this movie will make you want a PBR beer, since the beverage is so blatantly featured nearly every other minute in the movie. Yeah we get it, PBR is a popular beer for blue collar folk, but there’s more to small town life than just PABST BLUE RIBBON.
Colossal premiered at the 2016 Toronto Film Festival and then had its major release with Neon on April 7. Watching a movie at a film festival is a much different experience than at a theater, as there’s a notion that everything at a festival is inherently good, because why else would it have been picked as part of the program? Any movie you see at Sundance or Toronto or Tribeca or any of the other festivals has that sort of innate quality bias with it, that you perceive it to be good because it is both 1. at a festival and 2. has a unique quality that you wouldn’t commonly find in a major studio film. Colossal has that film festival bias: You think it’s supposed to be good and you want to like it, but like a PBR that’s been opened too long, it just falls flat.