THE GOONIES – Nostalgic, Heartfelt, Beloved.

Heeeeeyyyy yoooouuuuuuu guuuuuuuuyss! Where most people saw this one when they were still in primary school, I was a little late to the party with THE GOONIES. I first saw it after I’d turned thirty! So when it was announced that it would make a small retro comeback to cinemas and we needed a reviewer to give us their hot take, there was no judgement that Kernel Ehab hadn’t seen it yet. For these exhausting, overwhelming and strange times the world is going through, THE GOONIES is a little ray of nostalgic sunshine and adventure. Pop up some (salty) popcorn, put on your comfiest hoodie and enjoy it.

THE GOONIES is rated PG and runs for 112mins. It’s brought to you by the truffle-shufflers at Warner Bros. A limited amount of select cinemas are screening this gem as a retro comeback initiative. Otherwise it’s available for home streaming on Netflix and Foxtel or renting on Apple TV / Youtube – also available on home entertainment for the purists who like to watch their films from physical media.

X Marks the Spot!

BY EHAB RASHED

INITIAL THOUGHTS:

I have to make a shameful confession. Until last night, I had never seen THE GOONIES. I know right!? A thirty-five year old cult favourite film with legions of fans across the globe and it took my editor to offer it up as a Vaulty Popcorn review for me to join the party. I’ve decided to ignore the fact that I’ve come late to said party and embrace the fact that I showed up at all. And I’m glad I did because THE GOONIES is just one hell of a fun ride! Yes, even at my age! (Editor’s note – you’re welcome)

IT ALL STARTS WITH A MAP:

A group of friends living in the “GoonDocks” neighbourhood of Astoria, Oregon, face foreclosure on their families’ homes from the expanding Astoria Country Club. Their morale sinks particularly low when Mikey’s older brother fails his driver’s license exam. A result that thwarts their plans to “cruise the coast in style” during their “last Goonies weekend.” While rummaging through the attic, they find an old newspaper clipping, a Spanish map, and an artefact relating to a rumour of a lost but not forgotten pirate treasure somewhere in the area. Hearing the call of adventure, Mikey persuades his friends to join him in search for the treasure hoarded by legendary local pirate One-Eyed Willie (No seriously, that’s his name). So they venture off on a track laden with peril, excitement, coming of age and inspiration. All the while trying to out pace the dreaded Fratelli family who’s hot on their trail.

WHY DID I WAIT UNTIL 2020?!?!:

First let’s take a look at the creative power behind THE GOONIES. Directed by Richard Doner (SUPERMAN, LETHAL WEAPON 1-4) he’s known as a top tier action director. From a screenplay by Chris Coloumbus (HOME ALONE, MRS DOUBTFIRE)  inspired by a story from Steven Speilberg (INDIANA JONES FRANCHISE, E.T, HOOK). Spielberg and Columbus join forces again after the wildly successful GREMLINS in 1984 where Spielberg served as producer to the Columbus script. The pair had an amazing working relationship and when it comes to Hollywood power partnerships, these two have done pretty well for themselves. Not bad at all! 

The Truffle Shuffle!

THE GOONIES, THE MOVIE, THE LEGACY:

I’m going to assume that there must have been a lot of free flowing, mind altering drugs in Hollywood during the 80’s. Someone thought it was a good idea to cold open a kids movie with the image of a prisoner hanging from his neck inside his cell. Seriously! This wasn’t the tone I was expecting considering the worldwide love for this flick. But I was brought right back as they dive straight into the opening credits that shows flashes of what Doner will bring to future smash hit LETHAL WEAPON. 

A fast paced car chase establishing the town of Astoria sets the mood for what’s about to come. We then meet our four main leads and find out pretty quickly the team dynamic. The Heart, The Nerd, The Cool and the Chunk!! (I love you CHUNK!!!) They set the characters up, show us the stakes and off we go on an Indiana Jones type adventure that’s non-stop fun. They quip and fumble their way through booby traps, long odds, broken hearts, growing pains, fast paced action and a coming of age story that’s sweeter than honey. 

Josh “Buff” Brolin in THE GOONIES

THE CASTING IS PERFECT:

Now as good as the creative team is, this film does nothing unless they cast the right kids. Talk about home runs! Acting isn’t easy. Sure, we can all put on a performance if the moment warrants it. I mean, if the boss wants you to work on the weekend, we can all come up with something that would pass as acting. But finding a bunch of kids to carry the load of an action/adventure movie with snappy dialogue is quite the task. Although I won’t believe that there are actually kids that speak this cleverly or quippy (Outside of DAWSON’S CREEK). I totally bought into it in the first ten mins! Corey Feldman (THE LOST BOYS, STAND BY ME) is absolutely fantastic in this! His comedic delivery shows he should be headlining a Vegas comedy show. 

Jonathan Ke Quan (INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM) is the team’s gadget guy! Affectionately named “Data” by his clique, he provides plenty of comedic relief and also my favourite moment during the films ending. (No spoilers here, mate). Master Hobbit Sean Astin (LORD OF THE RINGS TRILOGY, STRANGER THINGS) is the film’s heart and soul. He’s the driving force behind this adventure and it’s clear to see that he has a commanding presence on screen. It also shows why he was the only choice to pay RUDY. If you haven’t seen or heard of this film, rectify that RIGHT NOW! An inspirational sports yarn that still swells my pupils.

Let’s not forget the team’s MVP…..CHUNK!!! WOW!! I always knew that Chunk (played by Jeff Cohan – FAMILY TIES.) had a cult following, but I didn’t know why……now I know! This kid is going ALL OUT!!! I found myself LOL-ing all over the place with his stuff. Top notch performance that’s stood the test of time. 

THE SUPPORTING CASTING IS ALSO PERFECT:

Outside of the four mains there are a slew of support characters tagging along for the ride. Josh Brolin (NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN, SICARIO) plays Mikey”s big brother Brand In his first movie role. He’s joined by the intoxicating Kerri Green (LUCAS, SUMMER RENTAL.) as Andy and tough as nails Martha Plimpton (PARENTHOOD, BEAUTIFUL GIRLS) as Stef. Plimpton recently had a stint on THE GOOD WIFE, earning her an Emmy win in 2012. (Side note…..THE GOOD WIFE is a phenomenal show!) 

What’s a great story without great villains? Hot on the trail of our young heroes are the Fratelli Brothers (Fratelli is Italian for Brothers, so they’re The Brothers Brothers…) and their sweet Mama Fratelli. (Anne Ramsey – SCROOGED). She’s a mother so terrible she could send Olivia Soprano screaming for the hills. And speaking of THE SOPRANOS, Francis Frateli is played by one of my all-time favourite actors Joe Pantoliano (THE MATRIX, MEMENTO, BAD BOYS FRANCHISE). For me, he will forever be remembered as sociopath Ralph Sifaretto on THE SOPRANOS. 
And finally the last word on the cast………..SLOTH! That is all.

Just don’t look down!

THE GOONIES’ LEGACY:

Talk about an enduring film!! Set aside what this film did for the actors and crew. It also spawned a thirty-plus year legacy. From yearly festivals in Astoria (the town where the movie was set) all the way through to a LEGO collectable set! THE GOONIES has proven to be a gem in the hearts of many a movie goer. It’s a testament to its pedigree that it still continues to be loved and shared generation after generation. For the true fans, there was a recent “ZOOM REUNION” hosted by Josh Gad (FROZEN, PIXELS) bringing back the whole cast for his “REUNITED APART” series. Check it out, it’s insanely good!

Bountiful Booty!

SO – TO SUM IT ALL UP:

Go watch this movie if you haven’t yet. And if you have, RE-WATCH it! It’s a fun, exciting and a sweet coming of age story that hits you right in the feels.
P.S. – Check out the music video GOOD ENOUGH by Cindy Lauper – It’s part of the movie’s soundtrack and is an 80’s WORK. OF. ART!

KERNEL EHAB’S POP SCORE:

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YOUR CRITIC:

Ehab Rashed is a part time freelancer and full time movie tragic and dog dad. If he’s not making his Netflix account overheat you can find him at the movies, a dog park, contemplating the life meaning in “The Big Lebowski”, photographing landscapes or working Tarantino quotes into everyday conversations. You can find this dog and him bumming around on insta @chubbz4lyf 

** Images used are courtesy of various sources on Google or direct from the distributor or publisher. Credit has been given to photographers where known – images will be removed on request.