The Goonies (Steven Spielberg, 1985)

The Goonies
Sean Astin, as Mikey, leads his friends in “The Goonies” children’s gang (his brother Brand, and friends Mouth, Chunk, Data, Andy and Stef) on a quest to discover pirate hidden treasure before their homes are repossessed by greedy developers, and whilst trying to evade the criminal Fratelli family, who they encounter hiding out in the area.

A couple of colleagues mentioned this at work one day as a “great fun film”, and one that “everybody loves”. It was a challenge but I was up to it. I don’t like this film. Don’t get me wrong; I don’t hate it – it’s far too mediocre for that. It’s just very, very ordinary and too many things fail for me to give this the love that so many others seem to have for it.

OK, so there are good points. The stunts are often great – very reminscent of the Indiana Jones movies (hardly surprising, given who’s directing) and some of the kids’ acting is good, Sean Astin in the lead is standout and some of the special effects are good, especially for a kids film. And, er, that’s it.

The acting is very uneven, some of it being atrociously bad. Some of the stunts are simply terrible, the entire effect being achieved by speeding up the action, as if this was a low-budget Saturday afternoon TV children’s adventure, fine if you nostalge* after such stuff, atrocious if not. Many of the characters, both children and adults (especially the villains), look as if they were assembled by a tick-box checklist of cliché and ham-actor general-use mannerisms and tics and I didn’t like the kids, Mikey excepted. The script is frequently embarrassingly bad, with a few nice touches sprinkled here and there to remind you that it really needn’t have been that bad.

On checking IMDB to get names and spelling I noticed that this gets a 7.5 rating, so I’m aware mine is a minority opinion. I suspect that if you watched this as a child you might have a residual warmth to it and if you watch it with children, their enjoyment might rub off on you. I’m a cynical adult watching it for the first time and this movie rubbed me up the wrong way. Such is life.

(*Yes, I’m aware that this isn’t really a word)

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One response

  1. Some people say Sean Astin is the son of Desi Arnaz, Jr. People would ask, “Who’s the father of Sean Astin?” People would have say, “The Old General’s cousin (Desi Arnaz, Jr), be the father!”

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