The Goonies (1985) is set in Astoria and follows a group of friends: Mikey, Data, Chunk and Mouth, who come across an old pirate map that leads to a treasure that they were lead to believe was a myth. They find the map by packing up their house because their neighborhood called “The goondocks” is soon going to be demolished. The boys embark on a journey hoping to find the treasure that will help them save their homes from being turned into a country club. Mikey (Sean Astin) although being one of the youngest, leads the way on the very dangerous quest that will change their lives, history and the town’s future. The audience soon finds out that they are not the only ones seeking out the treasure of One-Eyed Willy. The boys are competing with a group of outlaws on the run who will stop at nothing to get their hands on the treasure first. The boys end up getting help by Mikey’s older brother Brand and his friends Andy and Stef. Andy ends up helping the boys solve the riddles One-Eyed Willy left as protectants of his treasure. The group of friends call themselves the Goonies in relation to their neighborhood and they say throughout the film “Goonies never say die.” The Goonies find their way to the treasure and they gain a new friend along the way. Once they uncover the jewels, they sail One-Eyed Willy’s ship out of the cave. In doing so, the Goonies reveal the truth about a piece of history that was always seen as fiction. In the end the boys are reunited with their families and are able to save their homes and bring the group of outlaws to jail. The film holds a special place in America’s hearts as a classic because of its’ unique storyline and dynamic characters.
The Goonies is a coming of age film and deals with issues that may not be suitable for younger children. The boys are so relatable and can stand in for many of us and our friends. Mouth is loud and obnoxious. Data is smart and inventive. Mikey is timid, yet a leader and Chunk is funny and sweet. The thrill of adventure keeps the audience on the edge of their seat the whole time watching the film. However, the film cannot translate to present time. In its time The Goonies was doing something many movies had not before, but now there are hundreds of films of friends going on a quest for treasure. The storyline now is just a nostalgic moment that has been propagated on time and time again. Also, the film’s portrayal of Data the Asian-American friend in the group, is very stereotypical and they give him a heavy accent which makes him more as a comic relief. Another character in the film that is problematic is Sloth. Sloth has a deformity and the children view him as a monster until they get to know him. I found this to be disturbing because it follows that stigma that someone who is different is monstrous and perpetuates that binary way of thinking. Aside from the ignorant character portrayals, The Goonies does offer many laughs and a good message. The message of a group of regular kids seeking lost treasure makes the story universal and not just one for the privileged. The film also has the message of not judging people by their outward appearances, although they do at first. A person’s image is not the only aspect of their identity that matters and I am glad that The Goonies illustrates that. Overall, the film would get a 7.5/10. I think the film’s storyline is amazing, but their problematic characters make me less intrigued to give it a 10.
Release Date: June 7, 1985
Starring: Sean Astin, Josh Brolin, Jeff Cohen, Corey Feldman, Kerri Green, Martha Plimpton, Ke Huy Quan
Director: Richard Donner
Distributor: Warner Bros.
Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Family
Audience: Parental Guidance
Runtime: 114 min.
Autumn Skye D-Saldana | Writing Contributor
B.A. | Communications | Cal State Univ – San Marcos
Autumn is a fun loving girl who is currently working on a Communications BA and Women Studies minor at CSU – San Marcos. She loves singing, traveling and watching movies. She loves all things Disney and Marvel. She aspires to be an advocate for undocumented immigrants and hopes to create a more positive narrative for the Latinx community in her years to come. Autumn loves writing and hopes to share her thoughts with the world someday. Instagram @OhDearAutumn| View My Articles
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