When you take time to look at it, Anne Hathaway has had a pretty bizarre career thus far. Ranging everywhere from her beginnings as a Disney princess to proving her acting chops in indie dramas like “The Devil Wears Prada” and “Rachel Getting Married,” she arguably found her celebrity apex with her role as the dying prostitute Fantine in “Les Misérables.” It’s a weird thing to have covered so much ground in so little time, and I assume she still is in a bit of a flux with the movies in which she appears, as she’s still too young to really fit in with Hollywood’s old guard and yet too experienced to be a fresh new face. It’s a whittling limbo that has chewed up and spit out its fair share of stars, and Hathaway is finding ways out of it with curveballs like “Colossal.”
Featuring starring roles from Hathaway and Jason Sudeikis, “Colossal” is a story about learning to get over yourself and figure out what will be your impact in the world. When alcoholic out-of-work socialite Gloria hits rock bottom and is dumped by her boyfriend, she moves out of his New York apartment and back home to Michigan to find herself in the family’s old, bare home in her nondescript hometown. Unable to ditch the vices that haunted her back in New York, she quickly rekindles an old friendship with a local bar owner that drives all of her looming problems to her new rustic locale.
In the midst of coming to grips with her personal problems, Gloria just barely realizes that a giant monster is randomly attacking Seoul, South Korea. Towering over citizens and ambling through the metropolis, the monster is a sign of destruction and end times to those in South Korea and a horrific yet disconnected sideshow for the rest of the world. Gloria seems disturbed only at surface level until she realizes that the monster’s actions are directly correlated to her own choices. They then slowly push her towards understanding the impact that the decisions she chooses in her daily life have on others around her.
“Colossal” makes little effort to hide its ambitions; it’s a sure-footed morality tale meant to make you think outside of the box and fully realize your sphere of influence. With its simple ambitions, the story is able to avoid having to dwell on the sci-fi aspect that could overwhelm the plot and leaves the emotional core intact. All in all, the film probably spends fifteen minutes of its two-hour runtime dedicated to explaining the why and how of the connection between Godzilla and Gloria, leaving room for the relationships in the film to flourish, sour and reform naturally.
Sudeikis is also starting to crawl out of his funny-man shell that was bolted on from his tenure on “Saturday Night Live,” proving that he, too, has a place in Hollywood. Without giving too much away, his character asks for some pretty wild shifts in acting ability, and Sudeikis seems to take them pretty suavely with his wry smile and penchant for making the viewer feel like an old college buddy. His familiar, friendly demeanor sets even slight contrasts from his previous typecasts starkly apart for the better.
The simple storyline of “Colossal” allows Hathaway and Sudeikis to try out something that is new for each, respectively, that’s entertaining both in and outside of the film.