Review: Colossal

What a unique but strangely awkward experience. Colossal a one-of-a-kind movie.

When Gloria, Anne Hathaway, returns to her suburban roots from living in the big city, she not only finds familiar childhood faces but also discovers she is in direct control of a massive monster that materialises in South Korea whenever she enters a play park at 8am.


So… What can I say about this film? Firstly, the trailer for this film is wildly misinterpreting it as a comedy when it really isn’t. While it does have a chuckle or two in it, this film is more about alcoholism. Yeah. So funny.
But unlike Flight, which I detest solely because it was advertised as a action thriller when (coincidentally) it was a raw drama about alcoholism, Colossal‘s premise is just so bizarre that any false advertisement is almost forgivable!
Anne Hathaway (bizarrely, since Interstellar and the award winning Les Miserables) plays Gloria, and we are introduced to her character being thrown out of her boyfriend’s apartment after she’s found to be drinking again. Gloria is a hopeless, lazy, underachiever who turns to drinking every night and upon returning to her childhood home, she meets Jason Sudeikis’ character Oscar who she recognised from their school days. She gets a job working at his bar.

Oh, and while she’s struggling to function as a member of society, she discovers not only is a monster attacking the city of Seoul, but that she is the monster!

Colossal goes through some strange moments and rollercoasters of emotions. Gloria’s below-respectable self gets attacked from all angles from those around her, her ex-boyfriend Tim’s (Dan Stevens) frequent verbal assaults are at first justified but quickly lose all credibility making him look like a selfish prick. In fact, everyone in the film is inherently unkind or failing in some way.

It is a surprisingly human film when boiled down to its true intentions. Oscar is revealed to be a brutish, alcoholic thug, with his friends too scared to do anything about him, playing off of Gloria’s own insecurities about herself and where she is.

The monsters, surprisingly well designed and implemented for a smaller scale film such as this, are both plot device to spur Oscar and Gloria’s already compromised mentalities into world-changing consequences. The film promoting the ideal of staying true to yourself. There’s a lot of focus on the deaths the chaos in Seoul has caused, it is surprisingly bleak at times, more so than Godzilla or any superhero film.

When the dust settles and you dig deep enough, Colossal is a somewhat endearing experience. But that experience can be awkward to watch at times. The dialogue frequently falls into the same sort of difficult, almost circular, small talk, which means when Oscar’s true colours come out it isn’t foreshadowed at all, it just happens. It is a huge gear change. But considering the deliberate heel-dragging beforehand, it is welcome, just too sudden. Audiences might find its ambiguous tone and intentions tedious.

I mostly wish the tone was more consistent, whether it is a comedy, playing to its quirky giant monster plot, or a graphic drama about the dangers of human failings. As it is, it is a hybrid.

I found it to be a bizarre distraction. It is ambitious, kind of fun, mostly random.