As big a Kaiji fan as I am, I have to admit, it’s somewhat of a relief that someone’s made a movie that actually done something different.
Of course calling Colossal a classic monster movie is a misnomer. Sure, there are giant monsters in this and yes, they stomp some cities but what we have here is more a witty, whip smart indie comedy and it’s very, very good.
Anne Hathaway (in somewhat of a comeback role) plays Gloria, a borderline alcoholic and utter flake. After being thrown out of her uptight boyfriend’s New York apartment she retreats back to her home town. There she reconnects with her childhood friend and heartily continues with her favourite addiction. However, upon waking up and squinting through a hangover she is stunned to see news reports of a huge monster trashing Seoul. She is even more stunned to notice that she and it seem to share a little more than similar body language.
This is one of those films where I’d try to go into blind because what starts as a quirky little comedy with a twist swiftly become an intriguing darkly humorous study in abusive relationships, addiction and redemption. It’s seriously rewarding and gets under the skin in the best way, especially in the scenes where a certain character passive agressively flips and provides us with moments of social anxiety as tense as the Joe Pesci “How am I funny?” bit from Goodfellas.
Hathaway is fantastic in this, making what is a pretty complicated, fairly unsympathetic character interesting and endearing but it’s Jason Sudeikis who REALLY impresses. Not to give anything away but his character has rather… unpredictable twists.
And the monster stuff? Not really the point of the film as such (it’s mostly metaphor and used to support the main themes than actually the drive of the story), but it’s still of high quality and impressively subtle. Not something you usually get in a movie where a helicopter explodes into flames after crashing into a monsters head.
Fantastically named director director Nacho Vigalondo has crafted an original, clever and suprisingly touching monster movie with a difference. One that focuses on the puny humans first and favours emotional damage over collateral. Monstrously entertaining.