Director: Nacho Vigalondo
Writer: Nacho Vigalondo
Cast: Anne Hathaway; Jason Sudeikis; Austin Stowell; Tim Blake Nelson; Dan Stevens.
Duration: 110 minutes.
So I know my previous two entries written about Asian things and this is a Canadian-Spanish movie but taking into account the many that it’s a monster movie and the monster mainly appears in South Korea and that giant monsters are an Asian specialty I just had to write about it. Ok, that’s a lie I just had to write about it because this movie is awesome, plain and simple.
I must say that I went to see this movie almost completely blind (without knowing much about it). I had just seen the trailer for this once because one of my friends sent me the trailer while were talking via discord. I didn’t know too much about it. I just knew the director, I had watched one of his movies before and I remembered liking it, and from the trailer I saw it was a Monster movie, those two things alone were enough to make me go watch it. And man I’m glad I watched it.
So the plot goes like this (I’ll try to keep the spoilers to a minimum). Gloria (Anne Hathaway) is a Jobless woman who has a problem with alcohol, she is an alcoholic although the movie doesn’t directly call her that it implies she is and lets you see she is, whose boyfriend Tim (Dan Stevens) leaves because he can’t live with her like that anymore, because she always spends the nights partying and getting wasted and she doesn’t seem to want to get better. Finding herself jobless and without a home she returns to her childhood town to get her life back together. There she meets an old friend from school Oscar (Jason Sudeikis) who introduces takes her to his friends Joel (Austin Stowell) and Garth (Tim Blake Nelson). After getting drunk at her friend’s bar and waking up the late the next day she discovers a Monster has appeared in Seoul, South Korea, causing destruction and harming people. She soon discovers the Monster and her have a connection and that the whatever she does the Monster does too.
So that’s basically the plot. I could go on and on and tell you the whole story but I really recommend that you go watch this movie. You are missing out if you don’t. With that being said there may be some spoilers ahead although I’ll try to keep them to a minimum (I know I didn’t say that for Godzilla 1954 and Japanese Jaws. I’m sorry for the ones in Godzilla, I think there were few but there were present on the review, I still maintain that Japanese Jaws is a piece of Garbage and that my review includes the most interesting parts of that movie so I’m not so sorry about that.)
So first the characters, the Characters are really likeable, at first all of them, all of them, even the boyfriend who breaks up with the main character, even the villain is likable at first. Even one of the characters I thought “wow I don’t know too much about the character to say I like this character”, and I didn’t understand why the character acted like he did at some point in the movie but thinking back now I realize I was wrong and that I know more about the character and understand his actions more than I thought. What helps the characters a lot are the actors and actress, every one of them does a really good job bringing the characters to life and that’s in no small part thanks to Mr. Vigalondo’s direction but also the talent of the actors and actress.
The direction and the story, since the director and the writer of this movie are the same person. The directing of this movie is awesome, the scenes, the pacing of the movie, the action, the way the actors nail their performances and being able to bring such a great movie on a budget of only 15 million dollars which, even if such a money quantity could resolve an average person’s financial troubles and help him/her live comfortably for the rest of his/her life, is a small movie budget deserves only praise. Especially when the end product is much Much better than movies with much higher budgets.
The Story is great, it is not only is it entertaining and deeply funny with plenty of jokes but it also gets serious and even dark and explores topics such as alcoholism, and the little control you have sometimes when you are drunk and that your actions when you are drunk can have terrible consequences, it exaggerates this consequences by making the monster destroying part of Seoul when the main character is drunk but also showing you can hurt your friends and the people who love you with words or just by having them see you like that and how you can drive them away. It also enters the topic of abusive relationships at some point of the movie and how can it the people struggle to get out of them how afraid it can make them over what the other and how sometimes they eventually find the courage to get out of them even if the other person tries by all means to stop you and by all means in this movie implies pretty terrible means on how the abuser tries to make the abused dependent of him. It also explores subjects such as guilt and even how an inferiority complex can lead you down the wrong path once you find yourself in a position of superiority. Of course this are just the topics I think it explores, when you see the movie you may think “Hey there are more topics it explores” or “I don’t know where he got from that this movie explores so many topics”. I also like that there is a joke for the movie which is even funnier for the people of my country an “Apology note” that appears in the movie.
Now for the monster, the Monster it’s fine I liked it, I mean it always appears at night and mostly you see it through videos, so sometimes you don’t see it too well but you definitely feel its presence you definitely believe it is when it’s supposed to be even when off-screen, also it has moments when it’s physically on-screen and it’s not a video and when you see it well it’s a really cool monster, it’s not the best movie monster but it’s really good, and its final scene is amazing I loved it, I loved the part of Anne Hathaway on that scene too.
In this movie there is a robot but it doesn’t appear as much as the Monster and I like it a little less both as a character and in appearance even though its appearance it’s not bad, in my opinion it’s not as cool as the “Jaegers” from Pacific rim though, then again the by the time of its second appearance you’ve grown to love the monster not only it’s aspect by the things it does when it’s not destroying the city, the robot just messes around a bit and destroy things, both accidentally and fully on purpose.
That being said the movie is shot in a way that both the robot could be really bad, they could sharks from “Jaws in Japan” bad, and yes it would have taken from the movie of course, especially the climax, but I feel it would still be a pretty decent movie. Heck it would have been a fact that would have been forgiven by just saying “Well the budget wasn’t that high” but they really made an effort and I really appreciate it.
In fact in my opinion not only the director and cast but the whole crew of this movie deserves praise for their great job on this project.
If I had to point out a flaw is that the film doesn’t show too much destruction, (during the appearances when they supposedly destroy parts of the city which are not all) and that the movie’s monster and robot don’t move too much, I mean it shows you the aftermath on TV and journals but scenes or even too detailed videos about it not so much, I believe that’s where the limits of the movie’s budget show but even then they tried to make up for it with all their might, some of which are really good again it shows the effort. And if I could pick another is that the back-story that the movie shows on how Gloria and the “villain” get their power isn’t really explained well, the reason for them getting that power I mean although you can see through said back-story the reason why the monster appears only at a certain time when they are on a certain place
So my opinion about the movie is that it’s a good movie, an awesome movie in fact and something more people should go watch, if it’s still in theaters in your country, if not any other way to watch it should be used. I’ve tried not to spoil it too much and hopefully I’ve managed it. Since this was not thought out as a review but ended up being kind of one I will give this movie Four out of Five Stars. A high Four at that. Definitely Check it out!