Godzilla v. Kong: The Ultimate Reward for Patience & Perseverance - My Personal Journey
Steven connects the current day Warner-Monsterverse timeline alongside his own life experience
In 2014 the path to the inevitable Apex-Titan battle between 'Zilla and the King officially began with the Bryan Cranston led (more like side-starring?) drama simply titled Godzilla - which also brought on the best film trailer I have ever seen.
However, my version of this story starts years earlier, around 2002 when I was about 7 years old. Having watched the original King Kong on VHS straight from my dad's personal collection, he then showed me King Kong vs Godzilla - the 1962 classic (released in '63 as an English version) that also boasts the very first time each of the two characters appeared on film in color and widescreen.
I was absolutely stunned as a little, clueless, struggling boy that someone was genius enough to make a giant showdown out of these two gargantuan greats and let them slug it out for 2 hours for all to sit back and watch and eat popcorn and forget about life for a sec. To be honest, I barely remember it. I couldn't tell you the plot or anything that happened other than there were punches thrown. Yet, I couldn't ever shake it from my mind, couldn't ever relate it to anything other than intrigue and fun and couldn't help but know these two weren't. done. fighting.
I knew in that simple, distant moment - confused and thrilled as hell - that there would come a day later in my lifetime where this epic film would be remade with modern effects and it was going to be something I couldn't miss.
And in 2014, my belief rang true. Godzilla was released and the slow, intense, uncertain excitement within me breathed new life. Except, there was an accompanying feeling that my 7 year old, prophetic self never saw coming.
My father died of cancer in 2011 just after my 16th birthday. I always knew the battle would return, but never considered the spark of my excitement, awareness and knowledge of it all wouldn't be here to experience it with me. It just didn't make sense. Yet, by 2014, I had come to understand that it would never make sense and that was just an unfortunate reality that I would have to accept.
So, of course, I saw Godzilla in theaters. I went with a buddy from high school who I never saw another movie with ever again and who disappeared from my life entirely not long after. I only mention this because there's a common theme building here that I'll touch on more in a moment.
Of course, I stayed for the end credits and I felt that buzzing excitement all over again - a little stronger, a little higher in my belly - in 2017 with the release of Kong: Skull Island. A movie that I felt took all of the justified complaints about Godzilla and ensured there weren't the same mistakes. We didn't go halfway into the film before we ever saw the title-character. We didn't kill off the main draw of the film's human characters (Cranston still deserves better) in the first 30 minutes, and there was tons of action, fighting and FIRE.
If memory serves right, I watched the second installment of the series by myself. Opting to cease waiting on others to be ready or reliable and acknowledging that I was both, myself.
Yet, by 2019 and the release of Godzilla: King of the Monsters I had nerded out with a fellow educator at work and we caught the Austinite-starring film together.
Dramatic, but visually beautiful. Annoying, but grand. The third chapter set up the collab-finale with exactly what I was hoping would be the perfect blend of the previous three films - in style, action, color and scale.
After questioning whether humanity itself would even make it out of 2020, let alone the finished product of the final chapter, Godzilla v. Kong finally premiered for the world to see just a few weeks ago.
This time - after nearly 20 years of anticipation, two broken friendships, one lost hero, three prequel movies, and the metamorphosis from a lost, little boy to a confident, self-aware man - I sat down and watched the culmination of it all with the love of my life (we met seven months after King of Monsters released) and our sweet, little pup.
Somehow, before the opening credits even began, it all made sense. In this moment, I recognized that it will always make sense, and it only gets brighter, better and lovelier from here.
By the time Godzilla v. Kong was an experience of the past, I could feel so much love, soul and pride from my father, my younger self and the loved ones that surrounded me and for the first time in my life made me feel like I was home.
Home in a whole, huge world that has never felt as such. I finally understood how intensely my company, my actions and my thoughts truly shape the reality that I find myself in.
Oh, and, I was absolutely blown away and overjoyed by the spectacular film that Godzilla v. Kong turned out to be and the wait that was well worth it in the end.
For more reasons than I can ever express.
Take nothing for granted, and find love in it all.
As always, stay Strong!