Sure I give this a rating based partly off the nostalgia this film still holds for me, but it was a charismatic adventure led by kids but suitable for all ages.
A group of kids living in the ‘Goon Docks’ of Astoria embark on an important journey when they find an authentic treasure map in Mikey’s (Astin) basement. With his father being a museum curator, Mikey has no doubt the map is real.
He convinces the rest of his friends to embark on the adventure to find a treasure that will keep their homes from being foreclosed, and destroyed to make room for a posh coastal country club.
There are not many people who haven’t heard of ‘The Goonies’. Since its release, is has developed a massive following, consisting of more than just the millions of kids who grew up in the 80’s loving this film. When discussing classic films of the decade, the conversation would not be complete without mentioning this movie that was written by Steven Spielberg and directed by Richard Donner.
Yes the plot is beyond implausible, some of the characters and scenarios are far-fetched, but it is all whats makes this film the enjoyable adventure it is. Director Richard Donner captures the cold, grey feel of the region, using great backdrops in his scenes that have made for a collection of national landmarks people still flock to today. The setting of the film adds to the adventure as the group of kids weave their way through the wilderness, caverns and beaches in search of a treasure that could save all their families homes.
Being able to connect to these character’s is key to the enjoyment of a film and the casting in this one resulted in just that. The group of kids, led by young Mikey, was excellently performed by Sean Astin and with his unending determination and belief in the stories his father tells him, he keeps the rest of the group moving. Throughout; the cast has a great chemistry that makes you feel like they really are friends, banding together, and as a viewer you can’t help but sit back and root for their success.
There was also a great mix of character types among the group, each bringing their own personality to the film and added with a great screenplay written by Chris Columbus the interactions between the kids are amusing, at-times clever, and manage to lock in the 80’s with unending slang from the decade.
The first-act starts with an introduction to the main characters and quickly sets up the plot for the rest of the film. With a fluid pace and a mix of adventure and chuckles your entertainment will never waver as the group of kids relentlessly pursue the treasure while being chased by the Fratelli’s, a mother and two son crime ring that in their own right deliver many laughable moments throughout.
Anything written about ‘The Goonies’ would be lacking completion without mentioning the most memorable member of the cast, Sloth. Just as odd as his placement in this film is the surprising enjoyment from his contribution to the adventure. With his, lets say odd appearance and mannerisms, and virtually zero backdrop or reasoning, Sloth, for me has gone down as one of the memorable film characters from the 80’s.
This film is fun for all ages and still holds its relevance today. The group of kids, as they hunt for their treasure learn to believe in one another, to never give up, and along the way they also learn about themselves. They learn about the value of not casting judgement on others, loving people for who they are and that sometimes a persons weakness can actually be used as as strength, and these subtle messages are all delivered in a wild adventure with a little bit of everything.
For anyone who hasn’t seen it, stop reading and go find it now, and if you have kids let them take a step back into the past, and enjoy passing down the tradition of loving this movie.
Time: 114 min
MPAA Rating: PG (for mild language including some suggestive references, scary images and adventure violence)