My Love Of 80's Films: The Goonies

Cast: Sean Astin, Josh Brolin, Corey Feldman, Jeff Cohen, Kerri Green, Martha Plimpton, Ke Huy Quan

Director: Richard Donner

Writers: Christopher Columbus, Steven Spielberg

Synopsis: A group of kids who call themselves ‘The Goonies’, are about to be turfed out of their homes in favour of a new property development. After finding a pirate’s treasure map they embark upon an adventure to find gold and save their community.

The Goonies is the type of fantasy adventure you always dreamt of having as a child, minus the death traps and money-making bandits who are out to kill you!

Seeing the film again as an adult, I still enjoyed this 80s classic, but I noticed the clear intention to make the film appeal to a wider audience. Trying to create a story which charms kids, teenagers and adults is a hard thing to do; Columbus and Spielberg don’t miss the mark, but there are some things which I found slightly annoying this time around.

My biggest irk was the way the young characters all talk to (and over) each other. They are constantly vying to be heard, creating continuous noises. This seemed intentional and made me think about how differently children and adults experience the world. That being said, the actors played their parts well and delivered not only scenes of adventure, but also a good mix of comedy and horror.

For me, the film is a young Indiana Jones-type adventure. The kids’ homes are going to be demolished to make way for a new development, including a large golf course. These are kids that don’t want to leave their homes and lose their friends. After stumbling upon old artefacts in an attic they discover an ancient pirate’s treasure map. This sends them on an underground adventure in search of ‘One-Eyed Willie’s’ treasure. Along the way they encounter countless booby-traps, while also being followed by a family of criminals who want in on the treasure.

Overall, The Goonies has a brilliant cast – a group of youngsters many of whom many went on to become household names. The narrative feels like it is on constant acceleration, which is good as you get whisked along with the characters, but at some points it can leave you feeling a little flat.

The depth to this film isn’t the same as with other Spielberg pictures - notably E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial. The Goonies has a clear message in terms of showing kids around a certain age, especially boys as they mature to teenagers and begin to learn more about themselves and the world around them.

I wanted to include it on my list of 80s films that I love as it will always be a classic film that I’ll remember watching as a child. It’s definitely a film to watch with your children if you’ve not seen it, but be aware you will experience an entirely different film to the one your child is watching.

Written by Rebecca Perkin

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