After being kicked out by her boyfriend for being unstable, Gloria returns to her hometown and end up reconnecting with an old friend. Meanwhile over Seoul, a monster has emerged and threatens the city. It isn’t long before Gloria realizes that she has a certain power over the monster, but also that that’s not the only foe she has to face.
Colossal borrows many elements from classic monster movies and meshes it into an intelligent and clever story. I will admit there is a twist revealed early on that we’ve seen many times in horror films. However, in those cases it’s revealed in the ending and in most cases leaves the movie to come off a hokey and unsatisfying. By revealing this twist early on, it allows the story to elaborate more on it and make the decision worthwhile. Gloria, played by Anne Hathaway, is basically a trainwreck. Despite living together, she and her boyfriend never see each other due to her flightiness, being out all night, and coming home hung over. Returning home doesn’t resolve matters as she gets involved with her old friend Oscar, played by Jason Sudeikis. Oscar is even more of a disaster than she is. He’s a drunk, a hoarder, and gives off some strong obsessive/sociopathic tendencies. Initially, Gloria finds her control of the monster humorous, but she eventually begins the fear of this control she has and the damage it can cause. As the story progresses, Gloria not only has to control her physical monster, but also her inner monsters, and even own physical monster of an enemy. The movie is Gloria on a journey to redeem herself after the mess she’s made of herself. And this works really well, as the movie goes on, Gloria becomes this unlikely hero after being this disaster of a human being we really don’t admire much in the beginning. You could say that in some ways it is almost a parody of sorts for monster movies, but it doesn’t get too carried with that. There is a pretty good and serious story at hand with fun bits thrown in.
Anne Hathaway does great with her role as Gloria and showing her development and strength throughout the movie. It’s also nice to see her doing more fun roles and not super serious ones. Equally great, if not slightly more stand out is Jason Sudeikis. Here he provides a more darker and sinister performance on top of his usual quirky and comedic role that we are familiar with. It’s definitely a side of him I never thought him capable of capturing, but damn it he does well with the darker side of his character.
Colossal is a great film that brilliantly ties in fantasy, drama, and monster horror with sprinkles of comedy. Don’t let the metaphoric aspects of the film discourage you because unlike most, it’s elaborated on here and actually works unlike others. It’s also a great underdog story. On top of that we have great performances by the two leads.