Summer Catch: The Goonies
There are some films that belong on summer movie lists, and we’ve been looking at a few of them this month on the blog. So far we’ve examined Weekend at Bernie’s and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, and today we look at another 80’s favorite. The Goonies, an adventure comedy, was released in 1985. It was directed by Richard Donner and written by Chris Columbus from a story by Steven Spielberg. The film follows a group of kids who live in the “Goon Docks” area of Astoria and stumble upon a map to rumored treasure that could help save their homes from foreclosure. The film starred Sean Astin as Michael “Mikey” Walsh and Josh Brolin as his older brother, Brandon “Brand” Walsh. The film’s cast also included Jeff Cohen, Corey Feldman, Kerri Green, Martha Plimpton, Jonathan Ke Huy Quan, John Matuszak, Robert Davi, Joe Pantoliano, and Anne Ramsey. The film went on to earn $61.5 million at the box office from a $19 million budget, and it has since been selected for preservation in the National Film Registry for being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”
So, what makes this movie perfect for a summer watch?
Without a doubt, one of the highlights of The Goonies is the camaraderie between this group of kids. The introduction to each of them is honestly one of my favorite parts with Chunk’s clumsiness on full display as well as Mouth’s talent for talking and Data’s sometimes awry inventions. Brand is quickly established as the tough older brother that does genuinely care for his little brother, and Mikey is shown as the optimist adventurer with a penchant for incorrect words. Their interactions with each other are hilarious and show the closeness of the group. They intend to spend one more weekend together before Mikey’s house is foreclosed, and their friendships are highlighted more fully as this group embarks on a dangerous adventure full of booby traps.
Of course, the fun only goes up a notch once Andy and Stef unintentionally join in on their adventure to find the treasure of One-Eyed Willy, and in the end, the group is closer than ever.
Pirates & Hidden Treasure
How could a story about a group of kids following an old pirate map not be on a summer movie list? Pirates, lost treasure, and a weathered map are exactly the ingredients needed for a solid summer adventure, and The Goonies delivers on that front. The discovery of the map is priceless as Mikey intentionally lets Chunk break the glass containing the map, and while most of the group is hesitant to pursue the treasure, Mikey refuses to give up. He leads the group through caves and leaky passageways, and the group evades multiple booby traps in their pursuit of rumored riches.
The pursuit of the treasure is full of bad guys closing in and several setbacks, and it’s incredibly entertaining to see it all unfold when other things keep occurring such as Andy trying to steal moments with Brand.
Bumbling Bad Guys
While the kids and their interactions are clearly a herald of the film, no movie is complete without bad guys threatening the hero’s plan. The Fratellis open the film with Jake and his mother breaking out his brother, Francis, from jail. We watch these guys speed away from the cops in a successful escape. We see them dispose of agents, and we see them pursue the kids after Chunk reveals everything about their pursuit of the treasure. They have several setbacks, though, and one cannot help but laugh as they are consistently foiled by a group of kids. Data makes their journey harder with his many inventions, and ultimately, it is Sloth that makes their defeat solidified.
The Fratelli brothers argue with each other throughout the entire film, and The Goonies is made all the better by the presence of these bumbling bad guys.
So, is The Goonies a favorite of yours? What else would you add to your summer watch list?
Comment, and let us know! And stay tuned next week for one more fun movie to catch during this final leg of summer.
Mollie is a film enthusiast, aspiring writer/screenwriter, and a lover of all things Harry Potter, Star Wars, and Doctor Who. She is the co-founder of The Digital Shore (@thedigitalshore) and Above The Line (@atl_movies). You can follow her many adventures through Twitter and Instagram at @mcbeach.