The Goonies (PG)
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This came out in 1985, when I was 9. I kind of vaguely feel like I might have seen it in the theater, but I don't remember for sure. I also kind of vaguely feel like it might be one of the countless movies I was aware of being popular when I was a kid, that I didn't get to see until some time later, on VHS or TV or something. Or it could be that I saw it in the theater and saw it again a few years later on VHS or TV or something. Whatever the case, I know it was quite popular with a lot of kids who grew up in the 80s, like me. Probably more popular with a lot of them than it was with me, but I'm sure I liked it, and I have long considered it nostalgic. Anyways, I'm finally watching it again in 2013, on DVD. Oh yeah, I wanted to say there are any number of categories I could have put my review in, like "comedy," "family," possibly "coming of age," maybe even "weird" or "quirky" or something. Part of me even wants to redefine my "classics" category to allow me to include movies from any era as classics, in which case this might well qualify. But I guess "action/adventure" is probably the best fit.
It begins with a guy named Jake Fratelli (Robert Davi) breaking out of prison, and being picked up by his mama (Anne Ramsey) and brother Francis (Joe Pantoliano). The cops give chase, but the Fratellis get away. In the next scene, a group of kids assemble to spend their final weekend together. They call their neighborhood the "Goon Docks," and call themselves the "Goonies." They include Mikey Walsh (Sean Astin) and his older brother, Brand (Josh Brolin), as well as kids Mikey's age called Mouth (Corey Feldman), Chunk, and Data.
Where was I? Oh yeah, the Goonies' last weekend together. I guess there's a country club that for some reason owns the Goon Docks, or something. And they're going to foreclose on all the homes in the neighborhood. (I think they were going to build a new country club, though they already have one, so I'm not sure why they needed a new one. Though I do get the impression they might want a place with newer plumbing.) And I think at least Mikey and Brand's family are going to be moving out of town when that happens. Anyway, their dad was the curator at the local museum, and had a bunch of old stuff in their attic. The kids aren't supposed to go up there, but they do, while their parents are away. And they discover a treasure map from like 1632. There was this pirate called One-Eyed Willie, who had supposedly sailed his ship into a cave to escape the British Navy or whatever, and got sealed in. (This is in Astoria, Oregon, which didn't exist in 1632, and I doubt there were any ships or European settlements in the area, back then. But whatevs.) Mikey wants to try to find Willie's hidden treasure, despite the fact that many people have tried and failed in the past. He figures if they found it, they could save their neighborhood. The others don't want to go on an adventure at first, but soon they agree. Except Brand, who's not supposed to let Mikey out of the house, because he has like allergies and stuff (probably asthma, I guess). But Mikey and the others manage to get out, anyway.
Their quest takes them to an old abandoned restaurant, which turns out to be the Fratellis' hideout. Mikey goes down to the basement at one point, and sees a sort of monstrous-looking guy chained up in a room. A bit later, Brand shows up at the restaurant to take Mikey home, and then a couple of girls Brand's age, Andy and Stef, show up as well. (Andy is a potential love interest for Brand.) Anyway, they all watch the Fratellis leave, and they go back into the hideout because there's supposed to be an entrance to One-Eyed Willie's cave underneath the building. While looking for it, they discover a dead body in a freezer (who was killed by Mama Fratelli). Then the Fratellis return, and while most of the gang escape into the secret tunnel, Chunk gets left behind, and is later captured by the Fratellis, who torture him into telling them what he and his friends were up to. Jake and Francis lock Chunk in the room with the monster, who is actually their malformed brother, "Sloth." Chunk's scared of him at first, but quickly befriends him. (On a repeat viewing, I'd call their friendship "the world's first bromance.") Meanwhile, Mikey, Brand, Mouth, Data, Andy, and Stef begin exploring, and the Fratellis begin chasing them through the caverns.
And I guess that's all I want to say about the plot; I won't spoil how it all ends, but of course the ending is happy. Um... I should say Data was always my favorite character in the movie; he has all sorts of weird inventions that become helpful in the course of the adventure. Chunk is pretty much a typical "fat kid" as seen in countless movies like this, though he also seems to have a reputation as a pathological liar, which is why no one believes all the true things he's saying, now. Mouth is basically a wiseass, which is a pretty common trait for most of Feldman's characters. Anyway, Data, Chunk, and Mouth were all kinda funny. Mikey is a typical everykid, the earnest one who basically inspires everyone else, and stuff. Don't really know what to say about the older kids. As for the Fratellis, Jake and Francis were fairly bumbling, and always fighting with each other. Their mama was basically just a really bad mother. Sloth... had a lot in common with Frankenstein's monster. Ugly, not so good with the speaking, ridiculously strong yet easily frightened, but basically a good guy. Anyway, it's a fairly silly movie, but also fairly fun and amusing.