Goonies Never Say Die!
Irene Walsh: “Pants and shirts go in the… oh, forget about it. Just throw everything into cardboard boxes. Clark, can you really translate all that?”
Mouth: “For sure, Mrs. Walsh. [in Spanish] The marijuana goes in the top drawer. The cocaine and speed go in the second drawer. And the heroin goes in the bottom drawer. Always separate the drugs.”
As someone who lived through – and thoroughly enjoyed – the 80s, it is baffling how one of its decade-defining movies has hidden from me for so long.
Seeing how 80s pop music and Retrowave have made triumphant returns to my playlist lately – and there is no joy to be had compiling my latest comics Post – the urge to do another nostalgic deely-bobber-Curly-Wurly-Chopper-ridin’ Post is naturally, overwhelming.
So now would be an ideal time to review this cult classic.
Remember seeing the poster in the video rental store; and can recall a girl from school claiming this to b the greatest movie ever made.
In a bid to save their home from being demolished, Mikey, and his older brother Brand (not Brad, unfortunately – aow! opportunity missed right there) and their other misfit friends set out to find One-Eyed Willie’s treasure.
This marked the debut of Josh Brolin, who – after Avengers: Infinity War and Deadpool 2 last year – is hot right now, so it was particularly interesting to see how he began his film career. Also, other younglings included Sean Astin, now more famous to have starred in the Lord Of The Rings trilogy, the Chinese kid from Indiana Jones and The Temple Of Doom, and the then-ubiquitous Corey Feldman (let’s be honest, if he wasn’t available, this film would not have been made! 😉 )
Despite its fervent fan following, The Goonies has never been shown on British terrestrial TV.
Until this Christmas of course.
This is actually directed by Richard (Superman, Lethal Weapon) Donner. Although Spielberg is credited as just Executive Producer here, this movie overflows with his stylistic and kid-centred trademarks.
Yes, within the opening ten minutes, this viewer was hooked. We instantly get to know what this gang are like, what they are (in)capable of, and – guess what? – unlike some other buddy movies, you quickly feel compelled to actually care about what happens to these guys.
It’s a great introductory scene – already re-watched it countless times! – and one that needed to be put up here:
Stef: “Data, where are you going?”
Data: “I’m setting booty traps.”
Stef: “You mean booby traps?”
Data: “That’s what I said! BOOBY TRAPS! God, these guys!”
If there’s one thing that Brad really digs in an adventure movie, then it just has to be boobytraps, and The Goonies is loaded with some really wicked contraptions!
And you really can’t go wrong with a pirate’s treasure plotline, plus a groovy shot of Willie’s skeletal crew still in situ, all seated around a banqueting table. Half-expected them to rise up to clank and chase the Goonies around the decks! But this sounds like Pirates of The Caribbean could do with a re-watch… 😉
Crucially, it’s tough trying to find this degree of (entertaining!) thrills, energy – and vibes –in any other movie.
The gripes are (thankfully) few:
Please spare me those turkeys: the Fratelli brothers (Robert Davi and Joe Pantoliano). Evil henchmen who turn out to be bumbling cretins has to be Hollywood’s most overused trope – it’s certainly the most tiresome; can’t recall any movie (from the last thirty years alone) in which such “characters” actually worked.
Sloth – that other Fratelli brother locked away in the cellar – may have his fans, but his inclusion seemed to be a tad unnecessary. Perhaps his grotesque visage dissuaded me from watching The Goonies back in the day? Is it just me, or does accentuating such a disfigured individual for comedic purposes make for uncomfortable viewing…?
This point – and those brothers – could have dropped my Rating to 3-stars.
Perhaps parts of the dialogue don’t work. Thought there would be more quotable one-liners herein. Some of the gags aren’t laughable as they ought to be and the cracks not wise enough, but at least this show more than makes up for this personal niggle with visual tricks and treats aplenty.
And probably the action does descend to noisy and shambolic levels towards the end, but then again, it’s a sign that yours truly really has outgrown this brand of adolescent tomfoolery.
Or has he…? 😉
Andy: “I can’t tell… if it’s an “A sharp” or if it’s a “B flat”!”
Mikey: “Heh, if you hit the wrong note, we’ll all “B flat!””
this dude is not going to bang on about how they don’t make ’em like they used to, but The Goonies perfectly illustrates why its wild and rollicking formula worked back then. And why such adventure films are never made nowadays (and even if they were, they wouldn’t work anyway).
One scene in particular (you can watch it below!) best exemplifies this:
Following their plunge down a water slide, the Goonies emerge in a cavern to discover One-Eyed Willie‘s pirate ship. If this movie was made now, that ship would have been CGed by a horde of animators: no magic, no wonder; in 1985, this huge plot-device came specially painstakingly constructed. and only for just a fleeting glimpse shot!
Gawd, such practicalities are what makes this 80s stuff endure. (And what current movie-makers have neglected to heed). Having finally watched it once, will Brad watch this 1985 thrill-ride again?
Somewhere, somehow – hopefully some time soon it will be great to “hang out” with that cheeky, crazy, but irresistibly groovy bunch known as the Goonies once more – oh, what the hey! – or a few times more.
A few more truffle shuffles won’t hurt…
God, these guys! 😉
“This is ridiculous. It’s crazy. I feel like I’m babysitting, except I’m not getting paid”