Judging by the trailer, Colossal looks like a crazy rom-com with a giant monster thrown in. This is a good thing. There aren’t enough rom-coms where Kaiju destroys cities and kills hundreds of civilians.
Colossal isn’t a rom-com. But many people are crushed to death by 500-foot devil beasts.
Colossal is a monstrous metaphor film. Perhaps that’s the scariest thing of all. But don’t let that put you off! It’s a clever monster metaphor film, an indie gem combining an imaginative idea with a character-driven plot and great performances from its exceptional cast.
In short, it is a black comedy that secretly removes dark psychological layers and exposes the despicable, monstrous side of the human being. And then there’s a giant CGI monster that destroys everything.
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Jason Sudeikis gives an exceptional performance.
Anne Hathaway stars as Gloria, an alcoholic, unemployed journalist who moves back to New Hampshire after her kind British boyfriend (the insanely charming Dan Stevens) dumps her.
Broke lives in an empty house with no furniture but is so tired at night and often drunk that she falls asleep just about anywhere. By chance, she reconnects with an old school friend — an incredibly good Jason Sudeikis — who gives her the kindness that helps her get back on her feet. Ted Lasso would approve.
Everything looks and sounds like a rom-com where a character learns a lesson and finds true love because we all deserve a happy ending. But then the twists and turns: Gloria opens her laptop one day and discovers that a colossal creature has appeared in Seoul, South Korea, killing hundreds of people and casually knocking down the city’s skyscrapers.
So, how is this connected to her? This inexplicable monster in this town thousands of miles away?
The giant reptilian creature in Colossal.
Ultimately, you will get the most satisfactory answer to this question. This inventive concept occasionally leads to an absurd moment of hilarity and a climax that evokes the feeling of triumph. The soul feels well-fed.
But there’s a much bigger reveal in Colossal, a much scarier moment involving the most unlikely character.
No spoilers, but Jason Sudeikis elevates Colossal to skyscraper heights. His spectacular performance as Oscar, a bar owner who most notably never finishes renovating a hidden part of his venue, is fascinating. Despite his nice guy, it’s not entirely clear that Oscar has romantic intentions for Gloria. You don’t know where his character is going until the tone changes, and suddenly, Colossal isn’t as conventionally comfortable as you first thought it would be.
Colossal is certainly not perfect: the final message is surprisingly confusing, and the delivery of the solution is less certain than you might hope. But Colossal is interesting, complicated, and propped up by an effortlessly charming Anne Hathaway, who somehow turns a paper-destructive, unlikely character into a heroine to root for.
Don’t go to Colossal and expect a light-hearted, by-the-numbers romp. Expect a multi-layered beast that mixes comedy, monster movie madness, and dark truths about the human condition. It’s a film about being unhappy with your life, about leaning on your deep-seated, unspeakable impulses exploded with sadness and anger. The consequences deal as much damage as a 500-foot monster.
Colossal now streams on HBO Max (because this matters to some people – it has a Metacritic score of 70).
Where can I watch Colossal in my country?
If you’re in Australia, Colossal is streaming on Netflix and Binge.
In the UK, France, and Spain, you must pay a small fee to rent or buy the movie from Amazon Video, Apple’s TV app (also known as iTunes), Google Play, YouTube Movies, and other streaming services.
In Germany and Italy, Colossal streams on Prime Video.