Colossal is written and directed by Nacho Vigalondo, who also wrote and directed 2007’s Timecrimes. One of my favourite movies and probably the best movie about time travel that isn’t Back to the Future! So, I’d been looking forward to catching this, his latest movie, for a while now. Luckily, it didn’t disappoint.
Anne Hathaway is Gloria, a 30-something party girl whose life is in a serious downward spiral. Her boyfriend (an underused Dan Stevens) decides that enough is enough and kicks her out of his New York apartment. So, Gloria moves back to the quiet little town where she grew up and moves into her parents empty house in an attempt to try and rebuild her life. After a bad nights sleep on the bare floor (a nice running joke throughout the movie), she heads out to buy an inflatable mattress and on the way back is passed by Oscar (Jason Sudeikis) in his pickup truck, who pulls up and offers her a ride. It turns out that Oscar and Grace are old school friends and as they get talking about old times it transpires that things aren’t so great for Oscar these days either. He takes her to the bar he inherited from his father, only half renovated due to a lack of money, and later on offers Gloria a waitress job. Most of their time in the bar though seems to be spent after hours, drinking away the stock with a couple of other friends/barflies. Gloria is soon back to blacking out from drink and then waking up at some point the next day with vague memories of the night before.
And then one morning Gloria wakes to images on TV of a giant Godzilla-like creature which suddenly materialised and started rampaging through Seoul in South Korea. Furthermore, after a few more appearances by this creature, Gloria comes to the realisation that this creature somehow appears to be copying her movements! And a bit later on, a giant robot appears too!!
It’s difficult to elaborate on this part of the movie much further without going into serious spoiler territory. The whole idea sounds crazy, but it’s surprising just how quickly the whole concept just settles in and this remains primarily a movie about humans, our relationships and our inner demons. Hathaway and Sudeikis are at their best here, with Sudeikis progressing from his usual likeable slacker role into something much more darker and complex. Things become increasingly tense, culminating in a highly original and hugely satisfying final act which I absolutely loved. It’s truly amazing what’s been achieved here with such a low budget too, with only a few occasions where the effects appear a little shaky. Overall though, this is a smart must-see movie. Brilliant.