Colossal seems destined to become a cult film, one that we’ll look back on and wonder how audiences missed it. Though it received its share of raves upon release last April, it proved (apologies) a colossal flop, earning less than a third of its initial budget.
This is a great shame, as writer-director Nacho Vigalondo delivered a funny, trippy, gripping, often surprisingly dark treatise on disappointment, substance abuse, responsibility, self-realization, and toxic masculinity, all under the guise of a giant kaiju film that tonally recalls the populist hits of Ivan Reitman, Joe Dante, and John Landis.
The story centers on Gloria (Anne Hathaway), a hard-partying former blogger who, after getting dumped, moves back to her suburban hometown, where she reconnects with Oscar (Jason Sudeikis), her childhood best friend. Then the world is stunned by the sudden materialization of giant creatures in Seoul, South Korea, and Gloria and Oscar discover that they have a personal connection to these mysterious goings-on.
To say more would be to spoil the fun of the film’s surprises, which forgo Shyamalan-like plot twists in favor of exploring far heavier emotional and psychological terrain. This is especially true in regards to what the film has to say about misogyny, and in how it examines the so-called “nice guy” persona that so many men adopt in order to hide their true predatory natures. A more fitting subject for 2017, I cannot call to mind.
Good as Hathaway is in the lead role, striking the perfect balance between aloof and selfish without ever coming off as unlikable, Sudeikis is even better, revealing a depth and edge he’s never previously shown as an actor. If the current awards season were more attuned to genre fare, he’d be considered a dark horse candidate for best supporting actor nominations.
Do yourself a favor and catch up with this movie now. That way, the next time someone bemoans the state of film by saying no one makes original movies anymore, you can point them to this.
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