Colossal (2016) brings monsters and humans together in the weirdest way possible

July 17, 2017
Some of the best monster movies aren't just about gigantic creatures causing mayhem and wiping out cities, but people who aren't what they seem or are struggling to clean up their own disasters. When both manage to face-off against each other, it can make for a crazy, powerful combination.

Unemployed writer and alcoholic Gloria (Anne Hathaway) struggles to admit that her life is an absolute trainwreck. After her boyfriend kicks her out, she retreats to her hometown and reunites with a childhood friend Oscar (Jason Sudeikis). When viral footage exposes a Kaiju creature in Seoul mimicking her actions and behavior, she's finally forced to face the issues wreaking havoc on her as an adult.

Having gone into this gem not knowing a lot of the story's surprising twists, it's difficult to talk about what I love and disliked without spoiling the best and most important parts.

Something I can say, without hesitation, is that the leading lady is absolutely stunning. As a sharp, layered and fiery character, Gloria is a refreshing, beautiful mess. Tangled in drunken stupors to the point she blacks out or sleeps all day, it takes something otherworldly as well as human for Gloria to see how life has gotten so damn bad. Once she realizes her connection with the Kaiju creature, and what means in stopping both problems both at home and abroad, Gloria's determined to pick herself up no matter how many time she gets knocked down. Hathaway hasn't stepped out of the spotlight, but this is by far and away a hugely welcoming return for her. She gives a marvelous grounded performance, always keeping Gloria funny, endearing, and down-to-earth.

Blending different ideas into a comedy-indie-monster-flick, Colossal is one of the most polarizing movies to break through in a long time. Some fans love every aspect of it, while others feel Gloria's journey of discovering the root of her problems a little too forced. For me, the story genuinely resonated, but the script's own uniqueness comes gradually out of left field, which can make the ending feel a little dragged down. While the premise seems familiar enough, director Nacho Vigalondo infuses a lot of different ideas to create something that entertains and makes you think.

More metaphorical and supernatural than a big studio blockbuster, Colossal is one giant step away from the monster movies we typically think of. No matter how much I loved the performances, the story spends as much on its special effects and showy battles, as it does the character's strive for understanding and sobriety. Gloria's link to Seoul never seems to be exactly what you expect, showing that some of us can turn into the worst and best versions of ourselves. Going from indie to unassuming romance to unexpectedly destroying those assumptions, the fight between human and monster is ultimately an epic, bad-ass showdown.

Rating: ★★★
Have you seen Colossal? What did you think?

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