Why did it take me so long to get around to watching Goonies!
This was one of the defining films of my childhood; as somewhat of an outsider in my youth the exploits of a group treasure-seeking kids was appealing to my adventurous nature.
Drawing my inspiration from this movie, when I was about 11 I attempted to make an underground fort in the alleyway behind our house. Needless to say after 3 tiring hours I had accomplished nothing more than a shallow hole in the ground. Whilst my own feeble attempts to build a secret headquarters failed, my adventurous spirit will forever be held within the 110 minutes of this 1985 classic.
Superman director Richard Donner calls the shots, armed with a story by Steven Spielberg and a script by Chris Columbus this had smash hit written all over it from the get go. In the same way Spielberg and Columbus’ partnership on Gremlins and Young Sherlock Holmes worked so well, for Goonies they crafted their finest collaboration.
As a kid this was one of my go to Sunday movies, I’ve mentioned my love of the Indiana Jones films and the frequency I watched them in my youth. I think Spielberg has captured just how to make a perfect Sunday films.
The Goonies are outcasts, an assorted bunch of friends from different backgrounds who go in search of hidden treasure so Mikey doesn’t have to move. In hot pursuit of them is a ruthless family of criminals, The Fratellis. As if that wasn’t enough, booby traps and danger lays ahead for our young explorers.
The young cast all do fantastic work; there’s a character for just about everybody to relate to. Notably Sean Astin, Corey Feldman and Josh Brolin all got early acting breaks here, and Jeff Cohen as Chunk may have had a short lived career but the Truffle Shuffle has left a permanent mark on the film industry.
Chunk and Sloth are also a terrific double act, and why a spin off that sees them set up a private detective agency was never made is a mystery to this day.
Even at the age of 30 I feel too young to be saying, “they don’t make them like they used to” but in this case there’s never been a more fitting phrase. There’s hasn’t been anything like it since, and remake and sequel rumours surface from time to time but it’s thankfully been left alone.
Last year Empire Magazine ran an amazing Goonies reunion feature, it brought a smile to my face and tears to my eyes to see the now middle aged heroes.
It took Hollywood 27 years to make a movie that felt a little bit like this, last year’s Spielberg produced Super 8 retained a glorious Goonies vibe and managed that same sense of wide eyed wonder.
Goonies is a great film any day of the week, but it’s even better on a Sunday Afternoon.