There’s goofy high-concept, and then there’s goofy high-concept mixed with goofy allegory—yet somehow it mostly works here. Anne Hathaway plays Gloria, an alcoholic writer who gets kicked out of her New York apartment by her fed-up boyfriend, and retreats to her upstate hometown, where she reconnects with an old schoolmate named Oscar (Jason Sudeikis). Oh, and she eventually figures out that she controls a giant monster that appears in the middle of Seoul, South Korea. Writer/director Nacho Vigalondo finds plenty of weird humor in the improbable scenario—it’s a particular kick when you can hear the local citizens reacting to the events half a world away—and manages to navigate through several tonal shifts. Mostly, however, he’s trying to craft a story about people who do (or don’t) figure out how to take responsibility for the damage their actions leave in their wake. Vigalondo might never quite figure out the pacing that would allow his climax to feel truly resonant rather than weird and jarring, but maybe it’s okay to make a movie about dysfunctional relationships that just happens to be a kaiju movie in its spare time.
Director: Nacho Vigalondo
Producer: Garrett Basch, Justin Bursch, Jonathan Deckter, Christopher Lytton, Nacho Vigalondo, Zev Foreman, Nahikari Ipina, Russell Levine, Dominic Rustam, Shawn Williamson and Nicolas Chartier
Cast: Anne Hathaway, Jason Sudeikis, Austin Stowell, Tim Nelson, Dan Stevens, Agam Darshi and Rukiya Bernard