Friday, April 6, 2012

The Goonies

The Goonies; adventure comedy, USA, 1985; D: Richard Donner, S: Sean Astin, Corey Feldman, Jonathan Ke Quan, Jeff Cohen, Josh Brolin, Kerri Green, Anne Ramsey, John Matuszak

Astoria, Oregon. "The Goonies", a group of four kids - Mikey, Clark "Mouth", Data and Chunk - decide to save their homes from being taken over by the expanding Country Club with the help of an old map, allegedly showing the treasure of pirate One-Eyed Willie. They find an underground passage in an abandoned restaurant, and are not only joined by Mikey's brother Brad and two teenage girls Andrea and Stephanie, but also chased by the criminal Fratelli family, led by their cruel mother. With the help of Sloth, the retarded but kind Fratelli member, "The Goonies" find the sunk ship and manage to ensure enough jewels to save their homes.

One of the cult fims from the 80s, "The Goonies" are one of the more disproportionate family films of that era - unevenly blending harmless fun with crude humor (scenes where the cruel 'Ma' Fratelli threatens to cut off the tongue of Clark "Mouth" with a knife or to put Chunk's fingers in a mixer) - that still have some charm, yet it is far more better to suit them as a 'guilty pleasure' than as a sophisticated comedy. The basic premise involving four kids trying to save their homes has a neat adventurous tone, yet it soon dissolves into an excessive mess, with the deformed Sloth becoming the low-point of dumb ideas replacing genuine inspiration, whereas producer (and originator of the story) Spielberg even borrows a few solutions from his Indiana Jones series. The four kids scream and yell too much and are generally not that sympathetic characters, except for "Data" and his crazy inventions - ironically, even though Chunk can get slightly annoying sometimes, he easily has some of the best moments in the entire film: the joke where he lies to such an extent that he even claimed that Michael Jackson "dropped by to his house to use a toilet" is quietly hilarious, as well as the scene where the Fratellis take away his ice cream, but he still tries to at least lick the spoon - who knows why, but it is somehow funny. The authors cram too much 'rough' jokes (for instance, a penis from a nude man's statue is accidentally broken away, so the kids try to put it back on, but end up putting it backwards) and lose any harmony in the process, in the end resulting in an accessible, easily watchable, but uneven film.


No comments: