Everyone calls Colossal the Anne Hathaway Kaiju movie, but it’s so much more than that. The film starts off as a dark comedy and then rapidly evolves into something far more sinister. It’s unlike any movie I’ve seen in recent memory and is a frontrunner for my favorite film of the year so far.
Gloria (Anne Hathaway) has just lost her job and her boyfriend so with nothing left to lose she decides to move out of New York City and back to her hometown in upstate New York with the hope of figuring her life out. Shortly after her return she reunites with an old childhood friend, Oscar (Jason Sudeikis), who offers her a job working at his bar. It’s also around this time that a giant monster mysteriously appears in Seoul, South Korea. Through a series of coincidences, Gloria discovers that she is controlling the monster through some kind of telepathic link. Knowing that she’s directly responsible for all the destruction and death happening in Seoul, Gloria must now come to terms with what she’s done and make things right.
What makes Colossal truly terrifying, however, isn’t the giant kaiju attacking Seoul but the relationship between Gloria and Oscar. It’s clear from the start the Oscar has a thing for Gloria. She, on the other hand, just wants to be friends. That doesn’t sit well with him and so he makes a point to show that if he can’t have her no one can. At its heart, Colossal is what happens when you bring giant monsters into the mix with the friend zone.
As strange a concept the film may be it works remarkably well, thanks mostly to some amazing performances from both Anne Hathaway and Jason Sudeikis. She’s struggling with alcoholism when she moves back home and is an absolute mess. Her drinking is what causes the monster to appear in the first place; a pretty on-the-nose form of symbolism. She wants to get her life back in order, especially once she realizes that she is the monster, but Jason Sudeikis won’t let her.
Oscar is unlike any character I’ve seen Sudeikis play before. Initially he’s friendly with a somewhat creepy undertone, but by the end of the film he goes completely psychotic. There’s one scene in particular where the two of them along with two other friends are all drinking together in the bar and he just loses it. It’s at this point where you realize that he is no longer a friend and whatever “good” intentions he might have had were just for his own personal gain. Oscar is a fascinating character, and it’s been great to see Sudeikis evolve over the years from being just the funny man in his roles.
Colossal is a monster movie through and through. On the surface it has a literal giant monster attacking a city, but once you delve into its characters you realize that there are much bigger monsters within them. There is some humor involved, especially towards the beginning, but it’s nowhere near as comical as the trailers make it out to be. It’s a wonderful film that twists the monster genre to create something uniquely brilliant and fascinating.