Spanish director Nacho Vigalondo has defied expectations again with “Colossal,” his new sci-fi tale starring Anne Hathaway and Jason Sudeikis.
It’s hard to explain that opening sentence without giving away some key plot information, but let’s just say that this is one of the most unusual, imaginative tales to come along in quite some time.
Vigalondo’s first film, 1008’s “Timecrimes,” was a sleeper hit on the arthouse circuit, and “Colossal” will probably do the same kind of box-office business, if not more.
Hathaway stars as a party animal who gets kicked out of her swanky New York apartment by her fed-up boyfriend (Dan Stevens of “Downton Abbey” and FX’s “Legion.”)
Without a job and without any money, she heads back to the home of her childhood and quickly meets an old friend, Oscar (Sudeikis). He owns a bar and offers her a job as a part-time waitress.
It’s clear that he wants to rekindle what he thinks might be a romance, but there’s something amiss. And then a monster begins mysteriously appearing in the middle of Seoul, South Korea, terrorizing the city. For some reason, Hathaway’s Gloria feels a strange connection with the monster.
And one day she discovers that she can influence the actions of the monster if she stands in a specific spot in the middle of her hometown park.
So Gloria thinks it’s up to her to save the world and get the monster under control. Other people, as you might suspect, have different agendas, and that leads to some of the biggest surprises.
Hathaway is her typical charming self, struggling to get her life back together and stop her serious drinking while simultaneously trying to control a monster in Seoul.
The supporting cast, including Tim Blake Nelson and Austin Stowell, is excellent. So are the soundtrack and the special effects.
It will be interesting to see how the movie is received by critics as well as audiences. It definitely has an independent offbeat vibe.
The movie is notable, in part, because it’s the first release from a new distribution company, Neon, co-founded by Austin’s Tim League and Tom Quinn, formerly of Radius and Magnolia.
League, the Alamo Drafthouse owner, has been friends with Vigalondo ever since “Timecrimes” debuted at League’s Fantastic Fest in 2007. League has also been friends with Quinn for quite a while, especially since Quinn eventually acquired “Timecrimes” for his former company, Magnolia Pictures.
“Colossal” is expected to open in New York and Los Angeles on April 7, and in Austin a week later. It screens three more times during South by Southwest: 4:15 p.m. March 14 at the Alamo Ritz; 2:15 p.m. March 16 at the Alamo South; and 8:30 p.m. March 17 at the Alamo South.