The Goonies (1985)

The Goonies (1985)


“The Goonies” is the name of a group of kids (Sean Astin, The Lord of the Rings, Jeff Cohen, This is a Business, Corey Feldman, Friday the 13: The Final Chapter, Jonathan Ke Quan, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom) living in a coastal community facing eviction by greedy real state developers. When “The Goonies” find a treasure map, they embark on a quest to find the loot, and save their homes. They, of course, have to overcome numerous obstacles, including a gang of nasty criminals (Robert Davi, The Living Daylights, Joe Pantoliano, The Matrix, and Anne Ramsey, Throw Momma from the Train).

Reaction & Thoughts:

Producer Steven Spielberg’s finger prints are all over this entertaining kiddie show. The Goonies, written by Chris Columbus (Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets), directed by Richard Donner (The Omen), has more than a few things in common with E.T. – The Extra-Terrestrial, Poltergeist, Gremlins, Innerspace, and even the Indiana Jones films.

Gosh, I’m not sure how many times I’ve seen this movie, and I’ve always liked it. However, now I’m beginning to see the flaws more clearly. The premise is rather flimsy. There is too much yelling for my taste. There are also many plot holes.

The film is aimed at young viewers, so I’m sure they won’t notice the things that don’t make any sense. Director Donner’s brisk pace helps hide some of the most glaring inconsistencies. However, it’s a 1980s movie through and through, and I’m not sure how today’s jaded and cynical kids will react to the optimism of the ’80s.

The young actors make an excellent ensemble team. Cohen is a bit too much, but Feldman has some great lines. My favorite is Ke Quan — this kid is a natural! Kerri Green (Lucas), Martha Plimpton (Shy People), and Josh Brolin (Sicario) play the older kids. The elaborate sets look as real as a Disney World attraction, but I loved the way the film uses Erich Wolfgang Korngold’s majestic score from The Sea Hawk and John Williams’s Superman theme.

Conclusions & Final Thoughts:

I have outgrown the movie, but The Goonies is great escapism for pre-teens. It has developed a cult following. Color, 114 minutes, Rated PG.


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