The Goonies (1985)

Richard Donner directs Sean Astin, Josh Brolin and Corey Feldman in this classic kids search for pirate treasure comedy actioner.

No chickenshit distributor bothered to release a wide movie in the build up to Avengers: Endgame so The Goonies got a nationwide big screen airing the weekend before. And it was a glorious revival . Hard to believe but I was too young to see this at the cinema back in the days (And yet parents will take their toddlers to the apocalyptic monster massacres that will happen in the superhero tentpoles…) This is just goofy kids larking… making jokes, screaming in the face of danger, being overawed by the latest piece of still impressive production design. Donner does something really clever with his foul mouthed, fresh faced heroes. He lets them have moments where they can just riff, be kids and be excited. You can tell in four or five scenes he just showed the ensemble something (the Fratellis disposing of bodies, a booby trapped skeleton, a full scale pirate ship in a secret cave) and let them just react naturally as a group. Their unbridled juvenile wonder powers the film as much as any scripted banter or special effects. And the best at this is Sean Astin… he is adorably earnest throughout. It is a magical, inviting child performance. There’s great stuff barely focussed on in The Goonies; the Spielbergian use of light, a monster truck race hijacked in the opening credits and then forgotten about, the pleasing pairing of Feldman and Martha Plimpton. It is packed with silly, fun doings. Some bits have dated… Sloth now seems in far worst taste than he did then… his relationship with Chunk doesn’t feel quite so loveable through adult eyes. Then we have Andi’s impractically short mini skirt and that missing octopus. What Octopus, Data? WHAT FUCKING OCTOPUS?! It is almost a shame YouTube has ruined the mystery. All in all this is endlessly rewatchable entertainment. We were all Goonies watching this. From a lost time when a family film had relatable kid protagonists rather than robo-suited billionaires and indestructible meta-mutants. Though Shazam! And Spider-Verse might just nudge the scales back into balance.

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