Colossal is a marvellously weird mash up which brings together elements of comedy, monsters versus mecha and a thoughtful exploration of an abusive relationship.
Drunk and jobless Gloria (Anne Hathaway) is given her marching orders by her long-suffering boyfriend. She heads back to her hometown where she meets up with her onetime school friend Oscar (Jason Sudeikis), now running his father’s bar. At first, this seems like Gloria’s lucky break, but think again. Is it really a good idea for an alcoholic to work behind a bar?
If you think you’re in for a story of love and redemption, then you didn’t pay enough attention to the movie poster. Gloria’s battle with the demon drink manifests itself as a giant lizard-monster on the rampage in Seoul, whilst Oscar gradually reveals himself to be not what he seems. And I’m not only talking about the giant robot, either.
Anne Hathaway delivers a strong performance as Gloria, tormented by her demons but determined to do the right thing. Indeed Colossal, is best approached as an allegory of monstrousness of all kinds, from the literal to the psychological. Granted, you have to take the link between her relationship with Oscar and the monsters battling it out in Seoul, but then who said monster movies have to strive for realism?
Colossal is a film which wears its strangeness lightly. Not surprisingly, it’s a little uneven in places but it works. Most of the time.