Colossal – ★ ★ ★ ★ DVD Review
Colossal may have been billed as a sci-fi comedy, but the “comedy” part may have been a little misleading. Yes, there were some comedic moments, and some hilarious moments too, but boy did it turn a corner and get very dark all of a sudden! When Gloria (Anne Hathaway) is dumped by her boyfriend (Dan Stevens), she leaves her life in New York City, and moves back to her small hometown where she meets back up with Oscar (Jason Sudeikis) an old friend from school. Oscar never left the town and has taken over his late father’s bar. Down on her luck, Gloria accepts Oscar’s offer of a waitressing job, which might not be the best idea for a girl whose alcoholism had already cost her her job and her boyfriend. She soon takes to drinking in the back room after the bar closes with Oscar and two of his regulars Joel and Garth (Austin Stowell and Tim Blake Nelson). Unable to walk the entire way home, Glora starts sleeping on a park bench in front of a small play area. When reports surface that a giant creature is destroying Seoul, she gradually comes to the realization that she is somehow connected to this phenomenon. Somehow, at 8:05 am, whenever Gloria walks through the playground, the monster appears in South Korea, mimicking her steps and movements. Realizing what she is doing, Gloria struggles to stay on the wagon and away from the playground so she doesn’t hurt anyone else, but Oscar doesn’t make it easy.
So, now that turn to the dark side (SPOILERS highlight to read): It seems Oscar has been stalking Gloria for years after she left their small town, keeping tabs on her relationships and her career, seemingly waiting until she would come back and he might have a chance with her. When the group discovers that she is manifesting the monster in Korea, it gets weird, but even weirder when Oscar steps into the playground and projects a giant robot onto Korea as well. Was he mad with power, or was he mad all along? Oscar now threatens the South Koreans with giddy disregard in his drunken states, and becomes particularly nasty when he learns that Gloria spent the night with Joel. After a tense confrontation, Gloria gets Oscar to leave the park, but Oscar is jealous, and an alcoholic. Later that night at the bar, he demands that Gloria have a drink with him, and even threatens her by saying he he will go to the playground in the morning if she doesn’t drink with him. It is clear that Oscar wants to have her and to control her. He issues her an ultimatum basically, stay with him or he’ll smash South Korea. To finally free herself from Oscar (and her drinking problem) Gloria flies to Seoul and enters the area where her monster appears, sparking the monster to appear in America at the playground where she (as the monster) grabs Oscar…
Colossal was incredibly original, but it was more than just a quirky little concept film there was a much deeper message and meaning to it, and that all happened once it turned that corner I spoke of earlier. Both Hathaway and Sudeikis give strong performances, but once that corner is turned their performances get even better. While I knew Anne Hathaway was an excellent actress, Sudeikis was a pleasant surprise when he elevated his game to match the Oscar winner. The film was a big metaphor for addiction and the pain that addictions like alcoholism can cause. The film also explores how those addictions can hurt those around us, and even people who are not directly around us. The people of Seoul are definitely innocent in all this, but still feel the effects of Gloria and Oscar’s drinking, and they’re on the other side of the world. The consequences of all our actions are real. Ultimately Colossal deals with overcoming our inner demons and dealing with the decisions we make in our lives. It does so in a clever, sometimes humourous way which makes it entertaining and thought provoking at the same time. Colossal really is a “hidden gem”, and was definitely worth watching.
Bottom Line: Even though it didn’t go into much science-fiction detail, Colossal does show us the origin of Gloria’s monster and Oscar’s robot.