Throwback Thursday – The Goonies
Full disclosure time. I never saw The Goonies when it first came out. It was the summer of 1985 and, as a family, we really did not go to the movies at the time. We did other things to pass the time. My friends and I would go explore a landfill that was nearby. We would go hang out in the woods behind my house. We didn’t really play though. I was 13, and a 13-year-old doesn’t play. They hang out.
Fast forward a few years to when I finally watched The Goonies on videotape. Were I able to remove one of my legs and actually kick myself, I would have. This is the perfect movie for a kid. It has action, comedy, some scares, and even some light romance. Underneath all that is a message, that kids can be important too.
For those unlucky few that have not seen The Goonies, the story is that a group of kids go in search of treasure. This group of kids, who call themselves Goonies, are soon to be separated as they are all losing their homes. (If you are one of the unlucky few, The Goonies is available on Amazon Prime for instant streaming, although I would recommend the 25th Anniversary set that comes with a board game, which is also available through Amazon.)
The Goonies would not be the same movie if it were made today.
Recently while watching this movie (again) with my wife and daughter, it struck me that in today’s Hollywood, this movie would not be made. If it were, it would not be as good. The innocent jokes and sight-gags (like gluing the statue piece back on) would either be watered down or ran into the ground and I shudder to think how Mouth’s (Corey Feldman) bit translating for the cleaning woman would look today. The violence of The Fratellis would also either be minimized or amplified.
It’s more than just the content of the movie that would change. How the message is delivered would also change. Watching the movie, you see that kids are important too, but the movie does it in a way that does not make the adults (the parents at least) look stupid. The kids are respectful of their parents, something that is not seen often on screens today.
It is really no wonder that this movie is as good as it is when you look at the writers and director of this movie. The screenplay was written by Chris Columbus (director of Home Alone, Home Alone II, and the first two Harry Potter movies and writer of Gremlins and screenwriter for Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland) from a story by Steven Spielberg (too many to list) and then directed by Richard Donner (Superman, Scrooged, and the Lethal Weapon movies).
My absolute favorite thing about this movie is that is is fun. Even during the frightening parts of the movie, it is still fun. Even the music video is fun (and it has Captain Lou Albano, “Classy” Freddie Blassie, the Iron Sheik, and “Rowdy” Roddy Piper along with the cast.)
Now… if we could only get a sequel. Barring that, this is would make a fantastic next-gen console game.