Remember when Steven Spielberg's blockbuster adventure hit Raiders of the Lost Ark was released? Since that film got its theatrical release, filmmakers have incessantly endeavoured to achieve an adventure movie in the same vein as Indiana Jones' classic adventures.
The Goonies is also from the mind of Steven Spielberg (who produced) and it is essentially an Indiana Jones-style outing for the younger generation. Many kids will have fond memories of this one. Looking at reviews and the opinions of others, it's clear that The Goonies has always been held in high regard. It's destined to be a favourite when you're 5-10 years old and are seeking adventure with the protagonists instead being a bunch of kids. This film has everything that a kid could want - adventure, danger, treasure, cool gizmos, and bumbling bad guys. Revisiting this as an older individual you'll still find your nostalgic memories but unfortunately it also opens your eyes to the countless flaws that emerge frequently. Even with these flaws included, you'll pick up numerous gags and laughs that will keep you entertained.
The film follows a set of interesting child protagonists who call themselves 'The Goonies': Mikey (Astin), Brandon (Brolin), Mouth (Feldman), Chunk (Cohen), and Data (Ke Quan). The home that they have known and loved for years is set to be demolished to make room for a golf course. The only way the contractors will back off is if the suitable money is produced, which seems highly unlikely. Understandably, the five are pretty bummed and start wallowing in a state of depression. On a whim they decide to go rummaging through the (out-of-bounds) attic and subsequently stumble upon an ancient treasure map that apparently pin-points the location of a stash of buried treasure that formerly was the possession of pirate One-Eyed-Willie. Needless to say, the five members of The Goonies see this as a great adventure and a possible opportunity to raise the necessary funds to save their home. Driven by the thought of paying off the foreclosing banks, they embark on a quest to uncover the ancient treasure of One-Eyed-Willie. They soon get entangled with the Fratellis: a bunch of criminals currently being hunted by the police.
Throw in a perilous pursuit, booby traps, high adventure, an octopus (almost!), dazzling treasure, a one-eyed pirate skeleton, falling boulders, an amazing waterslide, a few skeletons, and a buccaneer fight aboard an ancient pirate ship...and voila - you have The Goonies!
The film is suitably and collectively entertaining for all age groups. However, the film plods tremendously and far too often! The script doesn't help - being a film for the kids you can certainly expect a bunch of clichés to surface...every adventure film cliché in the book as a matter of fact! Because all the troubles are set up in the first 20 minutes, we can predict how it will end. Yes, go by your impulses and suddenly the film is an unnecessarily long (110-minute) adventure. Indiana Jones remains on top in terms of high adventure as this is basically more for the kids, hence more room for clichés and less room for intense moments of peril. Still, despite this dash of predictability the film is loads of fun.
The cast are absolutely wonderful. It would take forever mentioning all of them, so I'll just say that as a whole they correctly fulfill their jobs. In a historical sense, it's terrific to see young versions of now successful actors. Yes, we have the likes of Sean Astin and Josh Brolin!
Overall, The Goonies is the best an adventure film can get for the kids. The production design is expansive and holds up well in modern days. I admire the old-school sets and effects that are generally missing from modern adventure movies. The film also mixes some strong directing and an exciting score that is suitably majestic. The film continually plods and is suitably clichéd, but at least it will entertain of an evening. Indiana Jones still cannot be topped...but this comes convincingly close.
"Goonies never say die!"