Tuesday, June 08, 2010

The Goonies

On Saturday, June 5, I saw The Goonies, starring Jeff Cohen and Josh Brolin.

As I nestled into a small Astoria, Oregon theater for this 25th anniversary screening, it had been only days since I last saw the film on DVD, but over 24 years since I'd seen it in a theater. I'm pleased to say it was just as magical for me at age 34 as it was for me at 10.

The story appeared strangely timely as our hero, Mikey (Sean Astin) and his brother Brand (Brolin) face the loss of their family home to foreclosure. The looming threat of papers being signed causes the kids to act fast in search of a treasure that could save them from moving. They achieve this by following an ancient map found in their attic with a host of their friends, who call themselves "The Goonies."

The iconic monoliths of Cannon Beach serve as their guides into the unknown, where they uncover a vicious crime family who is committing murders, and reveal clues from the treasure map one-by-one, putting them in a series of dangerous situations.

What sets the film apart from other kids-finding-treasures stories is the fact that the kids really talk like kids. It's a great credit to screenwriter Chris Columbus that they swear, discuss unimportant (yet vital at that age) topics, and form genuine bonds over old-fashioned pacts and crushes.

The movie is also heavy on comedy, provided mostly by Chunk (Cohen), a character known for exaggerating and eating. One scene where the bad guys are trying to torture him into talking is still one of the funniest, most believable 'kid' scenes in existence.

For those who have yet to see the film, I won't spoil it by discussing the ending, but will say the final beach scene still brings delightful chills to my spine.

What a pleasure it was to see that after all these years The Goonies remain timeless despite their 80s roots.

For more on The Goonies 25th Anniversary, visit Cinebanter.com.


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