Self-destructive behavior is toxic and harmful to others. Especially when you’re self-destructive and control a Kaiju. Wait, what?
“Colossal” stars Anne Hathaway as Gloria. She’s an unemployed alcoholic who’s boyfriend Tim (Dan Stevens) dumps her. She returns to her hometown and befriends bar owner Oscar (Jason Sudeikis) and his pals Joel (Austin Stowell) and Garth (Tim Blake Nelson), indulging in several binders.
Meanwhile, a Kaiju surfaces and attacks South Korea. Gloria’s further alarmed when she discovers she’s the one who controls this creature and has to right her wrongs. Oscar and Tim both stand in her way, creating humor and tension.
“Colossal” was advertised as a sci-fi comedy, but don’t be fooled. This is NOT a comedy, but a character study. Gloria’s drinking and selfish behavior hurt Tim and Oscar while her creature moments devastate a whole country. The creature is a metaphor for self-loathing; who knew a giant monster movie could have such strong social commentary?
Oscar and Tim aren’t saints either. Oscar depends on Gloria and controls her, making himself feel better. Tim, on the other hand, critiques Gloria for her behavior but condescends her choices she makes in pulling herself together. He clearly has high expectations of her that aren’t met.
Hathaway plays Gloria gracefully, heightening the character’s flaws and noble intentions with humor and emotion. Sudeikis delivers one of his best performances as Oscar. He’s pathetic and abusive, but also tragic and occasionally funny (he steals one scene with fireworks and a monologue about irresponsibility). That’s not easy to accomplish.
Writer/director Nacho Vigalondo transitions “Colossal” between several genres smoothly without force. The creature effects are impressive on a small budget and even the dramatic moments are shot like a monster movie. Audiences will be divided over “Colossal” because some viewers will praise it for its depth and others will criticize it for being misleading. All I say is give “Colossal” a chance.