Matt Donabie is good enough...
The 1980s was the definitive decade for the coming-of-age movie. The extensive list would include Stand by Me, The Breakfast Club, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, and The Karate Kid, alongside many others you could probably add. And even though its coming-of-age themes are often buried under the whimsy and adventure of
the story, one would also have to include the Steven Spielberg produced The Goonies to the list.
The Goonies tells the story of a group of coastal Oregon boys who are known as, well, "the Goonies." These Goonies consist of Mikey Walsh (Sean Astin), the leader of the group, Mouth (Corey Feldman), a smart mouthed rebel of sorts, Data (Ke Huy Quan), the genius who has all sorts of inventions under his coat, and Chunk (Jeff Cohen), the lovable chubby sidekick. Living in the "Goon Docks" of Astoria, Oregon, these young boys and their families face the imminent foreclosure of their homes due to construction of a new country club. As they celebrate their last "Goonies weekend," the boys stumble across a map and artifact that lead them on a hunt for the treasure of pirate One-Eyed Willie.
Also tagging along on the adventure is Brand Walsh (Josh Brolin), Mikey's older brother, Andy Carmichael (Kerri Green), Brand's love interest, and Stef Steinbrenner (Martha Plimpton), Andy's friend. The hunt for One-Eyed Willie's treasure isn't just a simple "X marks the spot" adventure, however. The first hint leads the Goonies to an old seaside restaurant that doubles as the hideout of a gang known as the Fratellis. The encounter with this criminal group leads to an adventure with more conflict than the Goonies had expected.
Directed by Richard Donner, who after releasing his successful Superman
movie had a quick series of commercial flops before returning with this (although Sean Astin later stated that Spielberg was pretty much
co-director for the production, with the pair often alternating scenes). the story is undeniably engaging and fun to follow. The film manages to be kid-friendly, but also covers some rather intense themes. Occasionally, the group comes across skeletons of past explorers, the aforementioned criminals with handguns, and a disgustingly charming, deformed Sloth (John Matuszak).
The cast is well-rounded and awesome all across the board. It's no surprise so many of them went on to great acclaim and enjoyed long lasting careers. Sean Astin, in his first bog screen role, plays Mikey with great passion. Corey Feldman, who by 1985 had almost a decade long career to his young name, shows his comic timing as Mouth, he spits one-liners and quips like a seasoned pro. Ke Huy Quan, who was so memorable as Short Round in Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom, is a fun Data, who always has something up his sleeve for the situation at hand. Jeff Cohen is a very funny and adorable Chunk, although one has to pity him as he would obviously never escape the Truffle Shuffle image. Then, of course, there is Josh Brolin in his debut acting performance, it's clear that he was always destined for great things.
The Goonies is rightly considered a classic movie. Remembered not only for it's whimsical story and cute cast of characters, the film stays in the hearts of many as a moment of nostalgia and memories, of a time when the world of those under the age of eighteen was far less oppressive. I must admit that I've been looking back at it through rose tinted glasses, as I was in awe of it when I was a boy, and even now I cant fault in The Goonies. It's uplifting, it's inspiring, and is a timeless classic. Goonies never say die!
Matt has a passion for just about anything from the 1980s, and prides himself on never having seen the movie Grease.