There is a terrific 2012 movie titled Smashed with Mary Elizabeth Winstead as a young school teacher with a major alcohol problem. So imagine that movie, but starring Anne Hathaway and containing elements of Pacific Rim, Guillermo del Toro's 2013 Kaiju opus about giant monsters and robots battling it out. Smashed and Pacific Rim pureed together gives you Colossal, a highly original drama peppered with science fiction.
Hathaway plays Gloria, a 30-something party girl drunk about to hit rock bottom. Her successful businessman boyfriend, Tim (Dan Stevens), has had enough and throws Gloria out of their apartment. The down-on-her-luck Gloria goes back to her hometown and reconnects with childhood friend Oscar (Jason Sudeikis), who owns a bar. So, it is back to drunken blackouts. One day, however, when Gloria wakes from an inebriated slumber, she sees on the news that a giant monster has suddenly appeared in Seoul, South Korea and – like Godzilla does time and time again – begins a path of destruction, that is, before it quickly vanishes into thin air. Soon, Gloria comes to realize that she has a mental link to the creature and can control its movements. The plot thickens when a giant robot shows up alongside the monster. To say more would give too much away.
There are some jarring shifts in tone in Colossal but writer/director Nacho Vigalondo (Timecrimes) has created a satisfying whole, featuring brave, multi-layered performances by both Hathaway (who also executive produced) and Sudeikis. These characters are complicated and their relationship takes an unexpected turn. If that isn't enough, Colossal explores the themes of self-responsibility, misogyny, and female empowerment.
I know this all sounds crazy, and Colossal will not be what you expect – even if you read this review – but give it a chance.