The Colossus of New York Review

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It’s time for another retro film that tried to be like Frankenstein. This version is a lot more powerful though and the film is also quite a bit better. That being said, the film sabotages itself when it was so close to grabbing an easy 7. It’s a reasonably fun film though and you’ll definitely want to stick around for the ending as it suddenly feels like a comic book title. Beware the lasers, for they hunger!

Jeremy was a very promising young genius who was going to help end world hunger. Unfortunately, he saw a ball roll in the middle of an airport and decided to run after it. A truck ran over him instead and he died instantly. His father, William didn’t like this though as he always felt that Jeremy was destined to save the world. As such, he grabbed the brain and built a robot body so that Jeremy could live again. Jeremy’s brother Henry wasn’t thrilled about this since he had been hoping to take Jeremy’s wife Mala for himself while Jeremy was dead. Henry decides to pursue this plan anyway so now Jeremy has to take things into his own hands. He doesn’t want his family to know that he is alive because he feels like his robot body doesn’t look good, but that won’t stop him from doing what needs to be done.

In case you couldn’t guess, the plot that I’m referring to which hurt the film quite a bit was the Henry trying to rebound with Mala part. It had no real place in the film. While we can guess that Henry is a bad character from the onset, it also makes Mala look really bad that she was going along with it. She didn’t have a lot of objections to this by the end as Henry won her over quite easily. She sure got over Jeremy right away and that’s kind of sad. He had seemed like a very nice and earnest guy. Sure he’s dead, but getting together with his brother seems kind of mean spirited don’t you think? Henry was rather petty and jealous the whole time. I can’t say I expected much from him, but I expected more from Mala.

At least Charles was a good character though. He’s Jeremy’s son and still very young so he doesn’t fully get what’s happening. This works well for Jeremy since he is able to play with Charles when nobody is watching. He also lets Charles know about the kill switch on his chest in case Jeremy ever loses his mind. This leads Charles to make the tough call at the end of the film. It was clearly not the right one, but as he is a kid, it’s not quite as terrible as when a grown person does it. Charles didn’t fully understand what he was doing after all.

Discussing Jeremy is a little complicated since it’s hard to say when exactly he lost control of himself. Having a robot body certainly came with side effects and one was that he would lose his mind. It’s easy to see why as well since connecting the brain came with a lot of trial and error and he was treated like a machine for a while. Still, he seemed like a nice guy pre transformation and probably would have been a good lead. As the main villain he also does a good job. The robot design is pretty good and he even comes equipped with death lasers that can disintegrate a target on contact. Now that is efficient!

William may have meant well initially, but he certainly didn’t think much about Jeremy’s point of view when bringing him back to life. He was confident that Jeremy wouldn’t care about missing out on the human angle since he could now work in peace, but evidently he wasn’t as work focused as Will thought. William also didn’t really respect Jeremy’s wish to rest in piece and ultimately his selfishness was enough for me to consider him as the villain. He really only thought of himself and that’s never a good track to take. Once Jeremy learned how to mind control people, it was all over. William only has himself to blame though as he could have stopped Jeremy, but his reactions were very slow and he couldn’t hit the off switch in time. Letting Jeremy break the switch was a fatal move.

The writing’s pretty good for this film. It’s always interesting to hear the characters subtly mock each other and use guilt trip tactics. They were very effective in this film. The debate about the soul was also interesting enough. My stance is that the soul leaves the body immediately and then the body/mind are useless while William tries to claim that it can still act without a soul. The film portrays him as being correct to an extent as Jeremy still exists, he just loses his emotions eventually.

I have to give the film a good amount of credit for actually having a climax. Not just a climax either, but a pretty satisfying one as there is a lot of action. It is a little grim though as Jeremy breaks into the United Nations building and destroys a ton of people with his death ray. Many international leaders and police officers lose their lives before Charles finally takes him down for the count. Jeremy may have been stopped, but the damage is most certainly already done. His plan was pretty good as well since it’s not as if he can be stopped very easily. A few missiles would have put him in his place eventually though.

Overall, The Colossus of New York was a pretty interesting film. Obviously, the movie taking place in New York was a pretty nice way to start things off. The robot design was cool and the climax was exciting. As I mentioned, the part that crippled the film was Henry’s plot, which was just pretty sad. The scenes where the characters are building Jeremy back together can drag on a bit as well. Jeremy also takes a little too long to realize that Henry may not be the nice guy that he had always assumed him to be. The film takes off a little smoother once Jeremy breaks free of the controls and totally turns evil. The first half is still enjoyable enough though. This film will just end up being forgotten in the long sea of other monster films and I can’t say that I mind this occurrence all that much.

Overall 5/10

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