April 14th, 2017
STARRING: ANNE HATHAWAY; JASON SUDEIKIS; TIM BLAKE NESLON; DAN STEVENS
DIRECTED BY: NACHO VIGALONDO
AMovieGuy.com’s RATING: 3 ½ STARS (Out of 4)
In Colossal, the best advice I can give is for you to know nothing about it going in, stick with it, and bask in this film’s brilliant originality. This is a monster flick, with comedy, and deals with human subject matters, such as alcoholism, childhood trauma, and finding oneself. Anne Hathaway delivers a commanding performance, that is not quite like anything I have seen her do before, in director Nacho Vigalondo’s surprisingly fantastic new film. Plain and simple, Colossal is a gigantic hit.
Gloria (Hathaway) is a struggling writer that drinks too much. She frequently comes home, bright and early in the morning, with a strong buzz going. Her boyfriend Tim (Dan Stevens) is fed up with this behavior and does her the privilege of packing up her things and telling her “not to be home when he gets back.” There is a messy, self-destructive side to our lead character. Although this is a really unique story, there is a lot of Colossal that reminds me of Jason Reitman’s Young Adult. And much like Charlize Theron’s character in that film, our lead character here decides to find herself by heading back to her hometown in upstate New York.
However, even though she’s in a new location, her wild ways seem to follow her. Gloria bumps into old elementary school friend Oscar (Jason Sudekis, in one of his best performances) while walking home with an inflatable mattress over her shoulder. They catch up on life, reminisce about the past over beers at Oscar’s struggling bar he owns. She instantly bonds with the guys, becoming one of the gang, fitting in with local bar fly Garth (Tim Blake Nelson) and innocent looking Joel (Austin Stowell). She wakes up hungover, only this time she’s in her parents old home, with a new group of enablers, without a bed to sleep in. The next morning, after another drunken night, there’s a strange news report about a mysterious monster that has appeared in Seoul, South Korea. How does this strange event even connect to Gloria’s stumbling, drunken night? Is it all just a dream? Or something more?
What I want to say about Colossal is that it is better for you to go in with as little information as possible. I won’t go too much more into the plot, but I will tell you that Anne Hathaway’s performance is a unique one for the Oscar winner. Although she’s donning a haircut that may look a bit too silly for some, her character work here is solid. She’s someone who is vulnerable, clumsy, but her obvious struggle with alcohol is not something that defines her. Instead, It is a well used character flaw that bonds her with Oscar, but their fun becomes fractured when jealousy seeps in. Plus, the monster keeps attacking Seoul and now a giant robot has shown up terrorizing the city as well.
One thing is for certain, director Nacho Vigalondo wrote & directed a film that scores on the originality scale. Here is a film that is one of the best monster movies since The Iron Giant. It is actually a smaller film that asks the audience to see it all the way through, combining dark humor with the supernatural. This may sound like a movie that is small in stature, but trust me, this movie is Colossal.
3 ½ STARS
Written by: Leo Brady