King Kong vs. Godzilla, the Remix

It’s the 4th of July. You have time on your hands, and a Transformer and Bionicle obsessed almost seven year old at your side. What do you do? On an impulse, you hustle down to the nearest theater to watch the new movie Transformers.

You, in fact, buy the last two tickets to the 1:30 showing. You give thanks that you find two seats together as the previews start. You then regret with every bone in your body telling the almost seven year old that the movie might be scary.

You then hope that after you have run your almost seven year old to the bathroom (better there than in your lap, you reason) that the two seats are still available.

On your way back to said seats, you firmly resist the pleas of the almost seven year old who is having second thoughts about a “scary” movie and now wants to leave the theater and go home. You have paid $12.50 for this privilege and you are going to watch the movie.

So, this is what this father did on the 4th of July. And I walked away from the film thinking, “That was a fun movie!” Late into the evening I was chuckling about this or that element of the movie. Yes, it is about ‘non-organic alien life forms’ battling each other for the fate of earth. It is by nature silly. But it is also about the nerdy guy getting the girl, and it is about the slickest car you have ever seen — a Herbie meets ‘Knight Rider’ kind of moment. I had a good time, enjoyed the movie, silliness and all, and came away with a little boy who thought I was one great dad. His favorite, in fact.

This morning, I read some comments about the movie that caught me off guard. A good father who was previewing the film before taking his five year old son said this:

“From the constant use of the ‘s-word’ to the non-stop horndog jokes, about masturbation, virginity, and sex in general, the loving shots of Megan Fox’s cleavage, and the way Michael Bay moves his camera around her midriff like she’s a shiny object that he wants us to long for, this film is wall-to-wall stuff I don’t want my son seeing.”

Oops. Yeah, I guess he’s right. That stuff is all there, mostly, though he exaggerates a bit. If I were a good father, I would have noticed these things and been concerned about them, I guess. But I accept them as life in this world, too easily perhaps.

So, maybe I should not have taken him. But the movie sure was fun. And this much I know: he did not leave the theater fantasizing about Megan Fox’s midsection or asking me about masturbation. He spent the next two hours reliving the battles between Optimus Prime and Megatron, recreating them in his mind and on our kitchen floor. That was fun… and worth the risk.