Anne Hathaway and Jason Sudekis have a grand old time, at the expense of South Korea – but also leave the audience a little confused.
Colossal tells the story of jobless, alcoholic, and newly single Gloria (Anne Hathaway) who finds out she’s linked to a monster terrorizing the citizens of South Korea. Joining her on her journey is childhood friend Oscar (Jason Sudekis), reuniting with Gloria after she moves back to her unidentified Middle America hometown from New York. Oscar runs his late father’s bar, and offers Gloria a job, which has her drinking late into the night. She often wakes up in other places with no memory of how she got to where she is, or what she’s done, but a chance observation has her realizing she shares a link with the monster – and she’s not the only one in town hiding a giant (ha!) secret.
This is a fresh take on films involving kaiju (The Japanese term kaiju translates to ‘strange beast,’ and is used to reference any giant monster that attacks major cities; the most common example being Godzilla) and it was definitely a fun time. The story went to places I wasn’t expecting it to, but I was also left holding the bag at the end with all the questions I had. While they explained how Hathaway’s character ended up with a link to the monster, the writers do not address the other person who is going through something similar, and why that character reacted so differently to the changes than how Gloria did.
Colossal was also colossally long. The film often went off tangent to things that made little or no sense to the plot – what I like to call throwaway scenes. I think we could have done without about 25% of the film. There were a few drunken fights that, after a certain point, became a cliche.
There was also a lot of jumping around in the storyline. Some characters disappeared and never returned to wrap up their narrative. Characters like Gloria’s boyfriend, Tim (Dan Stevens), could have probably used more development, although I did enjoy the script’s use of him as Gloria’s stepping stone.
What mostly won me over was the humour in this film. It’s relatable, it’s down-to-Earth, and it isn’t snooty. This is the kind of humour you’d enjoy on a date night or with a handful of friends: you’re sitting there watching this movie, and you’re laughing at what feels like the most random lines or scenes.
So, overall, I would recommend the film. It’s not perfect, but it is a good time at the movies. Three big, magical, somewhat drunken monsters out of five.
Colossal is showing in limited release at Cineplex International Village in Vancouver.