Two massive dinosaur-like creatures nick a nuclear warhead from the US Navy and make a nest for it in the middle of San Francisco.
Even more bizarrely, it seems that an even bigger monster by the name of Godzilla might just be mankind’s only hope.
But maybe it’s best not to wonder why with this latest sci-fi epic. Maybe it’s best to just go with the flow, and what a flow it is: an excellently-crafted monster-thriller which sucks you in effortlessly for all you might be sitting there scratching your head. Presumably somewhere underneath the nonsense is some kind of allegory about our use and abuse of nuclear power. On the surface, though, is a cracking tale of beasties for whom sending out a nuclear sub is the equivalent of rattling the biscuit tin. They just love a nibble on something warm and radioactive. In fact, it’s what keep them going – much to the distress of US forces who discover that shooting at them with conventional weapons has all the effectiveness of lobbing a few snowballs.
It’s pretty convoluted stuff involving dormant spores, trashed nuclear plants, lots of furrowed brows and plenty of bangs and crashes. And just possibly there are moments when it sags a little. Once you’ve seen one skyscraper flattened by a big beastie’s swishing tail, you probably you feel you’ve seen the lot. But those tails keep on swishing, not really through any particular nastiness; more a question of clumsiness on the grand scale.
But mostly the film, starring Juliette Binoche, Sally Hawkins, David Strathairn, Bryan Cranston and three uncredited monsters, is good fun – and hugely impressive, almost, almost making you believe what you’re watching.