Sunday, September 27, 2015
The Goonies (1985)
The Goonies is regarded as one of the best and most quintessential kid's movies of the 1980's. I only saw it recently, unfortunately. So, did The Goonies hold up for me when I first saw it as an adult, or would I have had to have seen it as a child to gain a full appreciation for it? Let's find out!...
Out in the coastal Goon Docks, a country club has foreclosed on all the houses, and the families that live there will all be forced out. The kids, known as the Goonies, are despondent about the whole ordeal, but when they find a genuine treasure map hidden in an attic, they say 'what the hell' and decide that they might as well spend their last day together trying to save their homes. Along their journey to find the treasure of the pirate One Eyed Willie, they have to evade the criminal Fratelli family, while one of the group gets help from the deformed Sloth, the benevolent third brother in the family. The kids try to stay one step ahead of the Fratelli's, but also have to deal with a various assortment of deadly booby traps. As if that's going to stop them though...
Yes, The Goonies does hold up! It's a fantastic movie, and just as enjoyable now as it was thirty years ago!
Despite being a kid's movie, The Goonies is quite adult. You've got what seems like a hanged corpse to start the movie off, the kids swearing often (more realistic than 'gee willikers', that's for sure!), and they come across countless skeletons of murdered pirates along the way, as well as a recently frozen fresh corpse! It's a nice and dark atmosphere, and it never clashes with the story, nor is it ever too unsuitable for kids.
The story is a really fun adventure tale, and is a well-written spin on the old treasure hunting trope! The pacing is good, as is the direction (courtesy of Richard Donner, and Steven Spielberg), while the script of both funny, and at times nicely thrilling.
One interesting thing to note is a deleted scene involving a giant octopus! Sure glad that never made the final cut! It does get mentioned though, at the end, where it just comes across as the character's exaggerating a bit.
The comedy in the movie works, and never gets in the way of the story, nor does it feel out-of-place.
Thankfully the movie is never mean-spirited. While the character of Mouth can be a bit mean sometimes, he knows when to be serious, and is never horrible, thankfully.
The acting in The Goonies is really good! So many child actors, and not one of them turns in a bad performance, which is impressive! The protagonists are all likable too, which is a plus!
Sean Astin is fine, although his character seems a little too mature at times. Corey Feldman is amusing as the mischievous but smart Mouth. Chunk is a good character, though a bit underused, while the inventive and tech-savvy Data is pretty fun, and Ke Huy Quan isn't as annoying as he is as Short Round in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, which I put down to good direction (as he doesn't scream every line like he does in Temple of Doom), and Josh Brolin plays the straight man as Brand. I like the female characters too! They're likable, and aren't superfluous or anything, which is always great! Martha Plimpton as Stephanie is pretty funny, too!
The Fratelli family are amusing villains, with Anne Ramsey being the most distinctive and memorable. Robert Davi is good, but a bit wasted. Still, it's not like I can blame the filmmakers for that too much, seeing as how License to Kill didn't exist yet.
Probably the only real problem concerning the characters is that Chunk and Sloth are absent for a big stretch of the movie, and don't really share in on much of the adventure.
The effects in The Goonies are great! The location and props look really neat, as do the effects for Sloth!
Finally, there's the soundtrack. The scoring is all good, with the standout being Cindi Lauper's The Goonies R Good Enough main theme!
To finish, The Goonies totally holds up even if you've never seen it as a kid, and I totally recommend it! It's a fantastic way to spend an afternoon, and a much better flick to sit your kids down with than a lot of the crap out there!...