Hey you guys!
I’ve got something to admit… my very own sinful bucket; up until Friday, April 19th, 2019, I had never witnessed classic 80s adventure wonder, The Goonies. This is the shameful truth but now after 28 years gone wrong, I can finally tick a much-loved film off my list. Since there are sadly many more classics that I still need to catch, this marks my first entry and review in a diary of blundering movie missteps.
Cyndi Lauper’s distinct vocals light up the credits and a jovial scene as the four buddies break out to hopefully find One Eyed Willy’s stash. But is the 1985 cult favorite ‘good enough’ for an adult watching for the first time in the 21st century?
The squabbles and companionship between Mikey (Sean Astin), Mouth (Corey Feldman), Data (Jonathan Ke Quan) and Chunk (Jeff Cohen) are a sheer delight. And for a guy soon to hit his 30s, their friendly arguments and outdoor revelry are a perfect dose of memory elixir. It makes the kid in all of us remember the good ol’ days playing outside in all sorts of weather, getting in trouble, having a wild imagination and bonding through thick and thin.
I knew of the pirate ship, and I’d seen the easily identifiable imagery of Sloth, but aside from these tiny glimpses I knew little else of the plot. It’s a really fun and engaging story, and though the first 15 minutes feels slightly chaotic in its introductions of all the characters, it soon settles down into a well paced and charming quest that bursts with childlike glee.
As the foursome, Mikey’s brother Brand (Josh Brolin), his crush Andy (Kerri Green) and her Barb-from-Stranger Things-looking-friend Stef (Martha Plimpton) try to evade a trio of criminals and possibly find a boatload of treasure, I couldn’t help but be easily swept up in the booby-trap antics of a secretive tunnel landscape. It absolutely screams the 80s and though it’s dated in places, that adds to the sugar-rush excitement the film seems to possess.
There are a couple of skew-whiff moments which do not sit as right as they may have done upon release 34 years ago; such as the waterfall kiss between Mikey and Andy, and the extreme noise of the ending with kids screaming, parents tutting and authorities thrown into the mix. It all feels massively sentimental for its own good, perhaps at the time this reunion scene was a joyous climax but it came across as a wishy-washy damp closing, compared with the energetic madness and fun which preceded it.
On the whole, The Goonies is a breezy watch which is perfect for children and adults hoping to check in with nostalgia. You can definitely tell it’s a Chris Columbus script, the pre Home Alone writer jams in as much exciting carnage as possible and with the threat of inept baddies on their tail, and it’s only a five-year hop, skip and jump away from Kevin McAllister’s very own night of youthful craziness.
The Goonies warms the senses and I couldn’t help but leave the cinema with a happy truffle shuffle buzz through me, mostly because I knew I wouldn’t have to just smile and nod whenever anyone talked about this film with me anymore.