Playing hooky with my son: Mesmerized by ‘Godzilla!”

Walsh and I snuck off for afternoon showing of "Godzilla!" We loved it! (Is it me or does Walsh look like he is growing a mustache?)

Walsh and I snuck off for afternoon showing of “Godzilla!” We loved it! (Is it me or does Walsh look like he is growing a mustache?)

We didn’t exactly play hooky but we did go to see a movie on a “school night” – 5:30 p.m. showing. We had a tough weekend cleaning house for two showings on Saturday (one in the morning and one in the evening) and then cleaning again for an open house on Sunday. So I thought we needed some fun. We left the girls with a babysitter and took off for the theater.

“Godzilla,” which opened Friday and made more than $90 million in its opening weekend, is rated PG-13. Common Sense Media said it was appropriate for a 12-year-old. My little guy is 11. I don’t like for him to see gun violence but I figured this would be more like Hulk-smash with buildings being stomped on. I felt like that would be unrealistic and OK.

However, I need to warn parents without giving away too much of the plot – the first 10 minutes are not directly about the monsters and are really sad and intense. Walsh turned to me and said “I don’t want to watch this anymore.” (They did a lot of character development and backstory in this movie – far more than you would ever expect from a popcorn monster movie. And Bryan Cranston is just amazing even in what should be a cheesy summer flick.)

I could tell that the sad part was about to be over so I covered his eyes and told him it would be over in a second and to hang in there. Finally, we were back to the monsters.

We were both reaching for each other with mouths gaping open. It was awesome! Walsh declared it, “The coolest movie I have ever let him see.”

Our biggest complaint was they kept cutting short the scenes with the monsters actually fighting. They kept literally closing doors on the fighting outside. My wise 11-year-old whispered “I guess that CGI is expensive.” Ding, ding, ding! Hit the nose with that one. I also think they were trying to extend the excitement of the fight to the last big climactic scene but you sort of felt cheated and wanted to see more of the fighting before the end.

My son called his father on the East Coast from the car driving home and told him how much he loved it, and he recommended that Michael quit his job and go to the movie. (I yelled from the driver’s seat “do not quit your job.”)

As my son put it “There were heavy themes of loss” so I really don’t recommend it for younger kids. And I even think 10 would be pushing it. I absolutely would NOT take my youngest to that movie, but I would go back and see it again with my husband. It was awesome fun.








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