I technically got this in on Friday as I’m on west coast time.
We open on a tiny encampment in the middle of a field. There are a few trailers and industrial equipment but nothing else as far as the eye can see. There are a few men joking around. It’s a fracking site. After some technical talk, the men get to work. They start hitting levers to pump the water and chemicals deep beneath the earth. There is a loud pop. The men are frightened and start to check a readout on a laptop. There is a huge earthquake. The men flee as the earth behind them starts to sink then explode upwards.
Credits play over a montage of footage of anti-fracking protests, desolate landscapes and animal anatomy textbooks.
We are introduced to a young plucky zoologist named Zoe. She is leading a museum tour. There is a display of the evolutionary tree of mammals. The kids snicker at some of the strange looking moles and shrews. Zoe says they they shouldn’t laugh, their distance relatives looked similar to them. After the dinosaurs died out, it left room for mammals to take over the earth.
As the group leaves, Zoe notices that everyone has their faces buried in their phones more than usual. She overhears a streaming news report from someone’s phone that talked of a giant mammalian creature. She pulls out her phone and brings up the picture of the monster and covers her mouth.
At her house she puts on the news and starts going through her many research books on mammals. She pauses the TV puts a sheet of paper over it and traces the outline and compares it to those in her book. The animal is 30 feet tall, rodent like with a face like a star nosed mole and has gorilla like arms. On the TV a military general starts talking about how this is an existential threat and they may need to use a nuclear bomb to kill it. There aren’t a lot of people in this area and they have already begun the evacuation process.
Zoe yells at the TV. She starts cold calling military phone numbers trying to get in touch with the general. Using her credentials, she is finally connected.
Speaking with the general, Zoe starts throwing around Latin names of species and genus and how this creature must be protected, that it can tell humanity so much about our place in the evolutionary tree. The general isn’t impressed. Zoe tries a different tactic and say he needs to think of the PR consequences. That he could be responsible for the extinction of an entire species. As there is no immediate threat the general agrees to fly Zoe out and meet with her.
We cut back to the creature. It starts stomping around like a typical kaiju but there is nothing around. It tires itself out, sits down and takes a nap.
The general shows Zoe a map. They have extrapolated its movements and if it continues at its current pace, it will reach a moderately sized township in about two to three weeks. If Zoe doesn’t come up with a plan to stop it, the general will be forced to kill it.
After another montage of Zoe doing research she comes up with a plan. She believes the weird looking nose is similar enough to the star nosed mole that it probably serves the same purpose: detecting seismic waves. If they can generate a large enough sequence of waves, they may be able to change the creatures direction and save the township.
Two to three weeks later the monster approaches the one stop light town. The military have a huge machine to create the waves and a line of tanks behind it in case it fails.
The general makes the order. The machine warms up and we see the earth rumble. The monster stops, looks around, and heads in the opposite direction. Everyone cheers.
Two years later is shown on the screen. We are in a huge research laboratory. Zoe is showing new recruits around. She stops at an updated evolutionary tree at includes the monster, but now it has a Latin name, so it becomes just another animal in the tree of life. She talks about how much they have learned already and how much more there is unknown. On giant monitors we see vital signs and gps coordinates. Drones provide realtime views of the enormous animal which yawns and lies down for a nap.