Home / Movie Review: The Goonies

Movie Review: The Goonies

Please Share...Print this pageTweet about this on TwitterShare on Facebook0Share on Google+0Pin on Pinterest0Share on Tumblr0Share on StumbleUpon0Share on Reddit0Email this to someone

Come back with me to a time of innocence and fun. Let’s all go back to my childhood when movies were watched for entertainment. When I didn’t have to dissect hidden meanings, and write about the symbolism or depth of a film. When I wasn’t a critic, but an audience member. Jump into my DeLorean and set the date for the 1980s.

It is a time when you could count on jokes about getting kicked in the nads, plot lines weren’t important, and you could always count on a good action figure to play with after the end credits. There was always a musical montage, you knew not to feed the mysterious animals after midnight, and a red Ferrari was your ride when you cut class.

Simple tasks such as fixing breakfast, or opening a gate became immensely difficult by using every day items as complex machinery. If you were good, you could incorporate a ball (preferably bowling). It was a time when a small boy named Jonathan Ke Quan ruled the world.

I suppose I must admit that there were some very serious films made in the 1980’s, but I was a child then and I didn’t see any of those films until much later. For me it was a time of action, adventure, and plenty of buttered pop corn.

One of my favorite movies from the time is The Goonies. It’s a perfect movie of the 80s, what with the high adventure, the pirate gold, a steaming heap full of Jonathan Ke Quan, and bloody mother f’ing Sloth. Nothing beats Sloth.

Watching it again I am amused by the fact that the Goonies aren’t explained in anyway. There is no background to how the club was formed or what even a Goony (or is the singular Goonie?) is exactly. And they don’t have to. As a kid I didn’t need a back story, they were the Goonies and that’s all I needed to know. I wanted to be a Goony, and I had many a pretend adventure going after the rich stuff.

The plot – O’ the glories of the plot – concerns an entire neighborhood that is about to be turned into a golf course. It seems the golf course people have managed to evict every single person in the neighborhood at the same time due to a lack of funds. For if only one family could come up with the extra funds then they could tell the golfers to buzz off.

Never mind that the neighborhood seems to be made up of middle class suburbanites or that none of them can manage to pay this mysterious amount of money (mortgage?). How a pile of jewels manages to take care of everything isn’t exactly explained either.

But that’s getting caught up in the plot, and that’s never the point with a good 80’s flick. The Goonies – a group of misfit teens (and I mean that in the totally 80’s kind of way, and not the post Columbine psychotic meaning of the term) – find a treasure map leading to pirate booty. The have many an adventure finding the treasure and are followed by the Fratelli crime family. Of course the Goonies find the treasure and save the neighborhood, but like so many things in life, it’s the journey that really counts.

Along the way we are treated to glorious action, romance, comedy, and of course a moral involving teamwork and acceptance – even acceptance of grotesque looking monster man dubbed Sloth.

Sloth – the greatest of all 80’s characters – is a deformed giant, and a member of the Fratelli family. The chubby Goony – kindly named in 80s cinematic glory as Chunk – is captured and thrown in with Sloth. We are all petrified as to what this hideous creature is going to do, only to find a moral in the monster with a heart of gold.

Critics will scoff at the Goonies plot holes, cheesy effects, and overall silliness. But if you’ll step back a moment in time with me you might find a wonderful slice of nostalgia, and a little bit of fun in a movie meant to do nothing more than entertain.

Powered by

About Mat Brewster

  • Growing up in the 1980’s as well, my favorite movie was The Goonies. I loved the adventure aspect to the film and recall feeling jealousy at the cave waterslides the characters rode down.

    I don’t think you can analyze the Goonies as you would an adult film. If you do it will have flaws. However, it wasn’t designed specifically for adults. It’s focus was on the youth of the 1980s.

    It personified those of us who grew up during this time like many other 80’s films (Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles) did. It embraced our rich imaginations and the belief that we could do anything (even save our homes from destruction) if we put our minds to it.

    That is why those of us who come from this generation can often sit back, and watch the movie with a smile and somewhat whimsical sadness that those days of youthful ignorance have been replaced with ugly truths like bills and taxes.

  • Exactly. You really can’t review a film like this from to critical a point of view. Certainly it doesn’t hold up against the classics, but it is light-hearted, fun, and was an absolute joy to watch as a kid. It’s fun now, too.

  • Mat,

    I really enjoyed having the opportunity to watch it with my own son recently for his first time. Seeing his reactions to Captain Chunk, the Fratellis, and watching him cheer on the Goonies was so reminscent of my youth it was a sign a whole new generation can enjoy and relate to this story even if times have changed greatly for children since the days of our youth.

  • That’s great. Keep rolling the Goonie magic to fugure generations!!

  • Mat,

    Yeah and my girlfriend Ashtyn, another 80’s brat, had never seen the Goonies! She was stuck in this “I love the Breakfast Club you can’t make me like the Goonies” train of thought.

    She watched the movie a few years ago with me, and has since become a Goonies fan herself.


  • Some movies just transcend their limitations. Goonies is one of them. It’s just fun to watch. And those villains!

  • Dominick, I watched it with my wife a couple of weeks back and she was less impressed as me. She fondly remembered it from her childhood but seemed to think it a bit silly now. She’s right, of course, it is a bit silly, but a still a lot of fun.

    Iloz, I totally agree. Anne Ramsey as Mama Fratelli is pure, evil joy. And Soth, what a great character. As a kid I imitated his tarzan yell going down the pirate sail a million times.

  • I love it when the kids want to adopt Sloth at the end: the look on the parents faces is priceless. So many nice little bits like that make the film priceless.

  • sheela

    hello, im in school right now, and i dont see where your review is. so please tell me where, and quik, i need to get an idea of wat to put on my movie review. also please tell me some good ideas of what to put in mine!

  • Jay

    Does anyone know where I could watch The Goonies online?