Bringing you honest reviews of recent releases
Anne Hathaway – Gloria
Jason Sudeikis – Oscar
Dan Stevens – Tim
Austin Stowell – Joel
Tim Blake Nelson – Garth
What an utterly, utterly strange movie. On one level Colossal is complete rubbish; I mean, a woman being physically linked to – and able to control – a gigantic monster which terrorises South Korea? She lifts her arm, the monster lifts its arm? She twerks, the monster twerks? What a load of tripe.
And yet Colossal was one of the best movies I’ve seen in years.
I’ve never seen a movie like this before, and that is its winning element – the fact it’s so new, its concept so original. At a time where hits of the 70’s, 80’s and even 90’s are being recycled, a time where ‘new’ big screen blockbusters recycle the same plots and storylines of movies we’ve seen before, Colossal smashes through the screen and delivers something new. Its refreshing story makes a nice change from the samey bullshit most of us have been subjected to over the last few years, however far-fetched it may seem at points. It has an urban feel about it too as Hathaway staggers around a Middle American hometown portraying its grungey, drunken protagonist. She does brilliantly with this, and is very different to what I’ve seen her play before.
With her shabby appearance and drunken foolery I have to say that this movie is certainly one of Hathaway’s best. Gone is the usual doll-like romantic girl, here is something vastly different. Gloria is the only character I’ve seen the woman play where I felt truly engaged. She brings a great blend of comedy and sadness to this movie; one minute she’s performing a bizarrely funny pelvic dance in the middle of a children’s play area. The next she’s laying on the ground after fighting with a friend, clutching her face and wailing with a blackened eye.
Her scenes make an engaging watch and incorporate one thing we can all relate to: human emotion. In fact, one of Colossal‘s striking features is how it splits in two and pumps out comedy science fiction on one branch, emotional feeling on the other.
It isn’t just a drunken girl pissing about being stupid, it’s actually quite clever in the sense that this movie uses the concept of a giant city-stomping monster as its foundation upon which to build the story of a feud between two old friends. The friend-turned threat portrayed by Sudakis adds to the drama nicely – especially when a second revelation is revealed.
He’s quite different from his usual comedy roles and does a great job in being the bastard most viewers will love to hate.
This movie is quite sad towards the end too, Hathaway stepping up a notch to ensure Colossal is brought to its sorrowful ending with great energy. I must say, I was intrigued during Gloria’s final scene. The actress is powerful in her performance:
First by strolling slowly towards her target,
second with the use of focused and bruised facial expressions,
third by delivering a quick but eventful showdown which plays out slowly, giving the viewer a chance to try figure out how Gloria is going to handle her heartwrenching situation.
Some people may see the trailer – or poster – for Colossal and think they’ll be in for a treat, with the lead character performing a strange alternative to puppetry or something. But the movie is vastly different.
I wanted more monster action than there was, there wasn’t enough. Even a scene towards the end sees one of the lead characters stomp through a patch of their local park as their monster in South Korea does the same; but the focus is on the person’s face as they stomp around with the sound of Seoul residents screams in the background – instead of showing the juicy action which is happening.
It touches on the fact Gloria is linked to the monster in Seoul, but probably about 20% of Colossal actually shows the sequence whereby she moves – it moves (as pictured). I wondered before seeing this how it’d play out and was looking forward to watching Hathaway’s ‘pupeteering’ of the gigantic beast. Unfortunately, ‘it’ gets very little screen time with Gloria and Oscar being the complete focus instead. It appears at the beginning, once or twice during, and for a few minutes at the end.
The movie’s not a total flop though as viewers do get to witness a real life-to-tv skit where our leading lady performs a strange dance in front of friends who watch the monster on an iPad screen in front of them. I was slightly disappointed with the lack of ‘him’, but this dance scene saved Colossal from crashing with its well-needed boost of surreal action.
Colossal is wonderfully bizarre, and bizarrely wonderful. This is one movie where genuine thought has gone into its story – however silly it may seem. I haven’t seen a movie like this in years because of how original and refreshing its concept is, and its surreal setting is supported by a handful of strong actors.
Praise to Hathaway who, in spite of being cast in one of this decade’s most prodigious ideas, shines like an absolute star and gives us something she hasn’t given us before.
I would definitely watch this again. Good stuff.