Friday, September 6, 2013

Movie #211: The Goonies

The Goonies is a 1985 kid's comedy about a group of kids from the "goon docks" who set off to find pirate treasure to save their homes, pursued by some vicious thugs. Starring (deep breath): Jeff Cohen, Josh Brolin, Sean Astin, Corey Feldman, Martha Plimpton, Anne Ramsey, Joe Pantoliano, Kerri Green, Jonathan Ke Quan, and John Matuszak. Whew.

So! Mikey (Astin) and his big brother Brand (Brolin) are the kids of the museum curator. They're about to lose their home, along with a bunch of other poorer families, to an evil rich guy. While looking in the attic for "rich stuff," their klutzy friend Chunk (Cohen) breaks a framed with a map in it, and they translate it from the Spanish with the help of their buddy Mouth (Feldman). The map, supposedly, leads to the treasure of One-Eyed Willy, a famous penis pirate.

Meanwhile, the evil Mama Fratelli (Ramsey) and her son Francis (Pants) break the other son, Jake (Robert Davi) out of prison, and flee to an abandoned restaurant. The boys, meanwhile, follow the map there, and flee into the tunnels below when the criminals find them. Through perseverance and the nifty gadgets of their friend Data (Quan), they outwit them, find the treasure, lose most of it, but save enough to save their town! Oh, and rescue the other Fratelli, a deformed but good-hearted beast called Sloth (Matuszak). Yay!

The movie is very, very, 80s, and you can see Spielberg's influence pretty easily. The kids are mostly OK, and though they screw with each other, they're obviously friends. They bust on Chunk for being fat a little too much, maybe, but he saves them in the end. The Fratellis manage to make the danger feel real enough, and the elaborate traps are pretty neat.

Now, we have a whole bunch of plot holes, of course. Why, for instance, do the stanzas on the map - which are written in Spanish - rhyme in English? Is nobody going to take a speedboat out after the pirate ship sailing away with millions in gold on it? And who owns it, anyway? Are the jewels that the kids bring back really theirs, or do the rich guys have a way to claim them, as rich guys often do?

Eh, who cares? They cut out the moonwalking octopus, that should be enough. It's fun, and it's neat to see early performances of people who grow up into legitimately awesome actors.

Also, go check out Jeff Cohen nowadays. Yow.

My grade: B+
Rewatch value: High

Next up: Gothika