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.

Reaction & Thoughts:

Producer Steven Spielberg’s fingerprints are all over this entertaining kiddie show. The Goonies, written by Chris Columbus (Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets) and directed by Richard Donner (The Omen), has more than a few things in common with 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 also too much yelling for my older self. The plot holes are more obvious too. Flaws and all, The Goonies remains as endearing and funny as ever.

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

The cast is generally great. Jeff Cohen is a bit too much, but Corey Feldman has some great lines. Jonathan Ke Quan is by far my favorite — this kid is a natural! Kerri Green (Lucas), Martha Plimpton (Running on Empty) and Josh Brolin (Sicario) play the older kids. Robert Davi (The Living Daylights), Joe Pantoliano (The Matrix) and the inimitable Anne Ramsey (Throw Momma from the Train) play a gang of nasty criminals.

The fanciful art-direction looks as real as a Disneyland attraction and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I loved the way the film uses Erich Wolfgang Korngold’s majestic score from the classic Errol Flynn swashbuckler The Sea Hawk. John Williams’s Superman theme is also utilized in a clever manner.

Conclusions & Final Thoughts:

Although I have slightly outgrown the movie, this is super-fun escapism for pre-teens — it’s a goofy but charming movie. The Goonies has, entirely understandably, become a cult favorite among Gen X’ers. Color, 114 minutes, Rated PG.

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