Rated R, 110 minutes
You know you are in for a treat when the director of your movie is named Nacho. That could easily spell trouble for any movie, but it helps the quirky, original new dramedy "Colossal," an odd feminist tribute to finding your inner strength.
Gloria (Oscar-winner Anne Hathaway) drinks too hard and parties too much. Her boyfriend (Dan Stevens, Beast of the recent "Beauty and the Beast") has enough of it and throws her out. Gloria returns to her hometown, dreaming of making a new start, but instead revives her childhood friendship with Oscar (Jason Sudeikis), who runs a bar. After drinking a night away with Oscar and his friends, he wakes up to discover a gigantic monster rampaging through Seoul and realizes that somehow the monster is connected to her.
Directed and written by Spanish filmmaker Nacho Vigalando, "Colossal" is one of the more charmingly bizarrre indie comedies of late, and it comes at a time when Hathaway really needs something to remind us of why we loved her so much from films like "The Princess Diaries" and "Rachel Getting Married" before she became centered on winning awards. "Colossal" is part quirky indie comedy and part science-fiction thriller, an odd combination if there ever was one, and while it's occasionally sluggish, it works in large part due to its peculiar tone and winning turns from both Hathaway and "Saturday Night Live" vet Sudeikis, in one of his best roles to date.
"Colossal" is so strange on many levels, but on many others, it works much better than you might expect. A sluggish first act and a talky plot make it initially rough going at first, but it'll leave you satisfied knowing that for one, we all have demons we must overcome, and second, we must find a way to channel our strength to overcome those demons. Hathaway's Gloria way just happens to be a large Godzilla-like monster that initially terrorizes the streets of Seoul, Korea, until she realizes her (and her monster's) true purpose in defeating people and demons from her past, present and future. She transforms from an imperfect person to an imperfect person with a purpose, which could, in fact, describe most of us.
Hathaway and Sudeikis, along with Vigalando's solid direction and script, make it work, even with some obvious, occasionally redundant metaphors and well-placed symbolism. "Colossal" doesn't fully explore some of the dark issues it raises - and there are plenty of them (namely alcoholism and physical/emotional abuse), but its emotionally satisfying, inspiring climax will have you cheering on Gloria to live a better life. The Godzilla-like visuals and special effects, which could've easily cheapened the film, add some important layers to the movie.
"Colossal" isn't for everyone, and not all of it may be fully understood, but then life isn't either. Likably odd, often dark yet superbly executed, it's an indie flick to put on your list to see, and is far more worthwhile than anything fast or furious this weekend.