Colossal is a movie with two or three different things on its mind. Unfortunately, that's one or two different things too many. The picture begins in the manner promised by its trailer—as a comical riff on the old Japanese kaiju monster movies of the 1950s and '60s. In this opening section the film is cute and clever; and the cleverness continues as the movie opens up its satirical concept to reference long-distance American military depredations and male-female social bullying.
It's an audacious multi-prong concept by Spanish writer and director Nacho Vigalondo, and you have to admire his skill in keeping the story chugging along. But the film's ill-matched elements are an awkward fit for one another, and after establishing its witty monster-war theme, the movie grows dark and sour, and its tone, soon trashed, never recovers, writes Kurt Loder.