The Goonies Never Say Die 35 Years On


June may be the greatest month for cinema releases. We have Blade Runner, the original and best Batman, Michael Keaton (my opinion, not TBG’s), the film that triggered all bigger boat sales, Jaws – and of course, The Goonies.

There’s an affinity held for The Goonies as one of the greatest films you’ll ever watch growing up and part of any balanced cinema diet. If you lived in the 80s that is. These kids of today end up poo-pooing the haircuts and Cyndi Lauper soundtrack. But in this classic, some of the kids already have their Call of Duty names like Data, Chunk and Mouth, but nobody has an online account as the internet (as we know it) didn’t exist. You either called your friends’ house or just turned up. No text messaging, no snap chatting and poking either. That’s for another article.

Friendships in the 80s and 90s were raw. You did everything together or nothing at all. Before the past time of hanging outside convenience stores was the mainstay, the adventurers in us used to explore. Some Explorers went up into space, but that’s a different film altogether. In case you haven’t seen it, or this is the first time you heard of The Goonies, it’s a coming of age… no, it’s not one of those, but it’s a story about friendship and fighting for what you believe in. Not another 20 minutes to finish a duo in Fortnite or convincing your folks that you must have the latest iPhone.

The Goonies Chunk

Instead, The Goonies, a group of three friends that swiftly evolves into a seven-piece if you count Sloth, are fighting for their homes as if there’s no tomorrow. There isn’t. When we start the movie, they only have a 24-hour turnaround to do something about the imminent threat of bulldozers wiping out the town. As if the adults have given up, the kids haven’t as after stumbling upon a clue to the treasure of One-Eyed Willie (very funny as a kid, perhaps still is) the gang hop on their choppers (push bikes not a joke relating to the pirate’s name) and head for the coast. In hot pursuit is Mikey’s, the leader, older brother Brand after they tie him up so they can escape the house. Before long, two more join the party and we have ourselves a little adventure.

The film follows a kids version of an Indiana Jones adventure – they’ve even got Short Round as one of the leads – as they explore underground tunnels and booby traps. That’s what I said, booby traps. Though it’s a kid’s film to some degree, there’s a lot of shit in it. Not that’s it’s one of those films, but the word is used a lot and if you’re trying to relive your youth and convert your kids into being a Goonie, be prepared for some moderate language. That’s what it was like back in the day, however, and we didn’t emulate what we heard. Saying that, my friend and I used to repeat Beetlejuice’s lines about a model when perhaps we shouldn’t have.

There’s something about the film that pays a lot of respect to kids, and that’s perhaps why we bonded with it so much. Instead of being these stupid or annoying scaredy cats you’d expect, they’re showing that they can be trusted upon and display some maturity. Ok, I’m biased, but if it weren’t for the Goonies, then the town would cease to exist. The grown-ups are the bad guys, 1) for failing to put up a good enough fight (yeah, money was the issue, I know) and 2) the greed of the Fratelli’s. Sloth, while physically, an adult is a child too but he’s pure and is all about doing the right thing. *Sniff* I love you guys. Not Chunk though, he was a tool. You’re bound to know what the truffle shuffle is, or perhaps you enjoyed the story about throwing up, but he was the weak link for me and would have irritated the hell out of you on an adventure. Perhaps that’s why he wasn’t directly with the rest of the Goonies? Was he even a Goonie or just a tagger on?

The Goonies A plan

What’s the modern-day alternative to The Goonies? The fossils had the Sandlot Kids, maybe today’s generation has Stranger Things? That’s not a bad thing – you can see the influence of The Goonies, amongst others. There’s just something a little more cynical about the kids from Hawkins however, and the Fratelli brothers have nothing on the Mind Flayer.

Anyone growing up with The Goonies will have been familiar with the trash you usually see pop up on one of the news sites you frequent that says “Where are they now?”, but they only tell you the info you already know. Worse, there’s always talk about The Goonies 2. As a fan, I don’t speak for the fanbase at all, but let it go. You can’t turn back time and have to remember that these actors are precisely that: actors and not the actual characters. Before you get upset, look at it this way: The Goonies is cinéma vérité and has the likeness of people like Thanos of Samwise, but they’re real people. As spectators, we were able to join the journey and forever live the best parts of it and can return at any time we want.

If that doesn’t resonate with you, just go watch the video Josh Gad hosted where he got not only the original cast of The Goonies, but also the Fratelli brothers, Richard “Lethal Weapon” Donner and another surprise guest. The Goonies never say die, nor do the fans, it would seem. Right, I’m off to watch The Goonies again, followed by Labyrinth and Flight of the Navigator…

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