Review: A ‘Colossal’ monster movie with a fresh twist
Anne Hathaway is an alcoholic who is a menace to more than just herself in this wild, unpredictable genre mash-up
An alcoholic’s self-loathing path of destruction extends far beyond her personal circle in “Colossal,” a bold, daring comedy-drama-monster movie that’s like “Cloverfield” by way of “Barfly.”
Anne Hathaway plays Gloria, who in the film’s opening moments is kicked out of her New York City apartment by her boyfriend Tim (Dan Stevens), who’s fed up with her lies and non-stop partying. Defeated and jobless, she returns home to her small town, where half-hearted efforts to clean up her act are thwarted when she runs into her childhood friend Oscar (Jason Sudeikis), who hires her to work at his bar.
A normal story about alcoholism and redemption, right? Far from it. Awakening from a drunken stupor, Gloria learns a gigantic, Godzilla-sized monster has attacked Seoul, South Korea. As she gains consciousness, she slowly realizes she is the monster, and her secret has global implications.
“Colossal” is a challenge, no doubt, but writer-director Nacho Vigalondo pulls it off with a visionary flourish. He knows the terrain he’s traversing, and he manages to pull off his daffy premise by dancing between serious and comedic tones and exploring ideas of self-involvement, personal responsibility and small town masculinity.
Hathaway gives her best performance in years, finding the soul in her character, who’s drifting away from herself, but must pull things together for the sake of the world. And Sudeikis is the most engaging he’s ever been on screen, seamlessly shifting from open and warm to petty and vengeful. Their conviction gives this monster mash-up the right blend of humor, heart and horror it needs to pull off its audacious high wire act.
Rated R: for language
Running time: 110 minutes