Reel Reviews

Film Reviews by a Real Person, Not a Critic

The Goonies

Title: The Goonies
Year: 1985
Director: Richard Donner
Starring Cast: Sean Astin, Josh Brolin, Corey Feldman, Joe Pantoliano, Robert Davi
Rated: PG

Reel Reviews Rating:

Before Sean Astin accompanied Elijah Wood to Mount Doom in the widely acclaimed Lord of the Rings trilogy, he went on an adventure with another set of friends in the 1985 Steven Spielberg movie, The Goonies. Set in an Oregon coastal town, The Goonies follows the escapades of a group of teens in their search for a legendary pirate’s buried treasure while evading a duo of incredibly stupid escaped convicts and their domineering mother.

Dismayed that land developers are arriving the next morning to bulldoze their houses to make room for shopping malls, the kids feel that the only way to save the town is to pay off the developers with the pirate’s booty, and so they go off on an adventure similar to that found in the Indiana Jones trilogy. Dangerous booby traps, riddles, and bad guys hinder the groups’ progress every step of the way, but their determination to save the town they love is so strong that they risk everything. I think Spielberg made this film as a kind of Indiana Jones for the kids, especially since Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom was made the previous year.

Granted, this movie isn’t perfect. The dialogue can be corny at times, and some of the characters are your typical teen stereotypes: the Fat Kid, the Cheerleader, the Smart Aleck, etc. And yes, it’s predictable that some of the kids have special abilities that help them overcome certain obstacles: one of them can speak Spanish, so he translates the pirate’s map for them. But hey- it’s a kids’ movie, so one can’t exactly expect Shakespeare out of it. Besides, it’s definitely a lot better than Harriet the Spy.

In addition to Astin, the young cast includes Corey Feldman (before he started making those awful movies with his namesake Corey Haim), Ke Huy Quan, fresh from his role as Indy’s sidekick Short Round in Temple of Doom, Josh Brolin, Martha Plimpton, Kerri Green and Jeff Cohen. The adult cast includes Robert Davi and Joe Pantoliano as the dim-witted Fratelli brothers, Anne Ramsey as their not-so-charming matriarch, and the late John Matsuzak as the famous Sloth.

I tell ya, I absolutely ADORE this movie. It’s one of my all time favorites. I still watch it every time it’s on TV. I first saw this movie when I was about 9, and I seriously wanted so badly to be a Goonie. I imagined myself in their shoes- how cool it would be to go through the adventures they had, to outsmart the bad guys, etc. I had the BIGGEST crush on Sean Astin. I mean, look at him- he was so totally adorable with those braces!

Incidentally, there has been talk since 1987 about making a sequel to The Goonies, but so far no one has been able to confirm nor deny these reports. Some have said that the cast is ready and willing to revisit their childhood roles, but for some reason Warner Brothers hasn’t given the green light. I’ll bet it’s mainly because no one has come up with a good enough script that captures the fun and adventure of the original movie, but deals with the characters as adults. Part of me thinks it would be cool to see a sequel, but part of me worries that a sequel would ruin the reputation of the original movie.

Check out this comparison of pics of the original cast as kids versus what they look like now.

The old guy in the back is Richard Donner, the director.

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December 15, 2005 - Posted by | Action, Adventure, Comedy, Family


  1. I always wanted to be a Goonie too! Great movie!

    Comment by Dana | December 15, 2005 | Reply

  2. Holy crap! Chunk isn’t Chunky!

    Comment by marvo | December 15, 2005 | Reply

  3. Too cool. Data was my fave. Whenever I say something incorrectly or use the wrong word and am corrected, I always respond in a broken Asian-american accent, “Yeah, that’s what I said!” I don’t think they get it based on their look. But it’s happy memories for me. 🙂

    Comment by Steve, Head Sheep | December 30, 2005 | Reply

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