Colossal is a movie you approach on its own terms. Vigalondo is an iconoclastic director who likes to take genre conventions and put his own strange twist on them. In Colossal, Anne Hathaway is a loser alcoholic and, as the movie begins, she’s being kicked out by her boyfriend, played by a once again unbelievably gorgeous Dan Stevens, for cheating on him yet again; she heads back to her home town and ends up reconnecting with an old friend who owns a bar. Meanwhile, in Seoul, Korea, a giant monster materializes out of thin air and wreaks havoc in a Godzilla-esque fashion. I’m going to tell you only one more thing: these two very different plotlines, well, they have something to do with one another. I’d advise you go into the movie knowing nothing else; don’t even watch the trailer, which gives away at least one big twist. And you should definitely see this movie and not just because it’s odd, which it is, but because it has an awful lot on its mind. To dig too deep into the themes, I’d have to get into spoiler territory, so I’ll remain vague. The film is very much about self-destructive choices and, in a weird way, about violence against women. I mean, I’ve said too much already; just go see it. But it’s certainly a movie that I spent a lot of time thinking about over the days after I saw it; it’s got serious things on its mind. The cast is quite good. Hathaway is wonderful in her role; she’s initially a burned out loser, but she’s still a little zany – but when the film takes a dark turn, she digs into the role and draws out a lot of pain. I’d probably still rank it behind Les Mis, but I’m comfortable saying it’s her second-best performance. Jason Sudeikis is, I’ll just be frank here, career best and absolutely award worthy in his performance as a day drinker that owns a bar; at first, he’s kind of charming in his oddity, but he reveals a mean streak and a controlling attitude and he ends up becoming a very unlikable character. I’ve never seen this side of Sudeikis before; it’s genuinely shocking to the see the always affable, eternally likable actor turn in a performance this mean. But I’m once again saying too much. Just go see Colossal. It’s a movie about big, big problems, whether they live in our souls or stomp down our streets, and the struggle to overcome them. 4 stars.
tl;dr – human drama and monster movie mash-up is dark, thoughtful and strange; great lead performances and a killer script create an odd but important film. 4 stars.