Tuesday, May 02, 2006

The Goonies

My sister had raved to me about how great this film was and how I just had to watch it. Since we usually have similar taste, I thought I was in for a great viewing experience. However, I was disappointed. The Goonies was by no means bad, but it definitely didn't meet my expectations. I don't quite understand why many people my age love this movie so much. Maybe it's because of the film's pirate theme and the popularity of The Pirates of the Caribbean film.

This isn't to say that I hated the film, in fact, I think it has many of the necessary elements which make for an entertaining experience. It's a classic kid's adventure story, revolving around a group of boys who are soon to be separated by developers taking over their neighborhood. On one of their last days together, they embark on an adventure which takes them on a quest for treasure on a pirate ship. Along the way, they have to fight against the criminal family the Fratellis, who also want the treasure.

The Goonies, which was written by Steven Spielberg, has all the ingredients for this type of film. The group of boys, who as misfits nickname themselves the Goonies, are likable and have all the stock types: their somewhat sensitive leader (played by a young Sean Astin who would grow up to co-star in Lord of the Rings), their goofy fat kid, their smart aleck, and so on. It's loaded with humor as the boys banter throughout their adventure, and the adventure aspect is definitely entertaining. But all in all, despite great ingredients, I don't think that they add up to anything special. The film never seems to reach its full potential and is largely predictable. Its cheesiness makes it feel dated. Also, I really don't understand how a Spanish pirate ship wound up in a cave in the Pacific Northwest. However, it does have something to say about the greedy destructiveness of housing developers, and in the end the boys realize that their friendship is worth far more than the treasure. This is definitely a statement against the greed of the 80s. Overall, I'd say that you shouldn't believe anyone who says that this is a great movie, but if you're looking for something entertaining on a lazy afternoon, the Goonies is a good fit.

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