When a bunch of varied humungous alien Godzillas began to emerge from a portal between dimensions at the bottom of the Pacific and wreak destruction upon the world's major cities, we're told in voiceover during a long info-dump at the start of this $200m effects movie, humanity pooled its resources and decided that the best form of defence would be to build equally humungous robots controlled by dual mind-melded pilots, and engage the Godzillas in hand-to-hand combat.
Which is patently stupid; a schematic set-up transparently designed to appeal to boys of toy-buying age. And what little room is allowed for human stories is given to dull one-dimensional conflicts and one dull, chaste romance.
Yet Guillermo del Toro has invested this dumb and noisy nonsense with such technical artistry that you can't help but be awed. The hulking, battle-scarred robots have a heft that belies their digital footing, while the monsters have a bioluminescence that is positively psychedelic.
Most of all, the sense of scale is giddying. As the beasts bestride whole cities, one forgets all about the little people down below, and strides right beside them.