Every week, one of the Filmoria team will be pulling a skeleton from their closet in the form of a classic film that they’ve never seen. It could be a film from decades ago or one that has recently been heralded as ‘one of the best’ in recent times, but either way there’ll be one less film on their list of shame. This week, Managing Editor James Thompson finds out exactly what the Truffle Shuffle is as he watches The Goonies for the first time…
When I was a young lad I absolutely loved anything remotely Spielbergian, adventure-based or simply something with that fantastical element that provided the utmost escapism. Each Christmas I’d revel at the fantastical elements of Masters of the Universe, become engrossed in the Indiana Jones capers and relived the highs and lows of ET’s epic quest for home, but one film that always eluded me was Richard Donner’s The Goonies. How, I will never know, as it clearly contained all the elements that would had made it an instant favourite for the young teenager in me.
Thankfully, some 28 years into my life – and a staggering 31 years after its initial release, I’ve finally witnessed the joy of the quest for One-Eyed Willy’s treasure and I can finally appreciate just why The Goonies has long been considered a classic.
What struck me immediately with The Goonies was just how closely associated Stranger Things is with the revered Donner movie. Having seen the Netflix show before the 80s classic, I immediately established the link between the two properties as something rather substantial – even if my order of viewing was the wrong way round – and that instantly had me hooked with the elder of the two. Here was a film that I could instantly engage with, even with the era being somewhat prior to my own youthful days (the 90s were my bag); fronted by a fun-loving group of youngsters yearning for adventure and coupled with an understated synth score. This was the 80s in a movie nutshell.
What surprised me so much with the film itself was its use of swearing, with each of the youngsters involved quite happily dropping profanities left, right and centre in what is essentially a Spielbergian family adventure. Of course, I’m privy to more than enough of this type of vocabulary but it was something that caught me off guard. It certainly didn’t pose a distraction mind you, with the fact that these kids were doing such a thing meaning that their whole rebellious side came out in spades.
Add to that the sheer adventurous nature of the movie and you’ve got a fun formula. Each and every character has their part to play: Chunk being the clear standout and Sean Astin’s Mikey a great leader of the mission, while the likes of Corey Feldman and Josh Brolin add some much loved depth to the group as a whole. Sure, there are the typical cliches in there but essentially this is a movie that helped create such things for future movies. It also wouldn’t be fair to go without saying that Sloth is an undeniable icon. Misunderstood and misjudged, it’s great to see his moment of heroism on the pirate ship towards the film’s conclusion.
Even in the year 2017, some thirty-plus years after the release of The Goonies it still remains exceptionally entertaining and riotous, even on first watch. It’s still utterly relevant in terms of presenting a bond between friends and captures the true essence of a time where technology didn’t rule every single thing youths do these days. Escapism and a true throwback to the days where adventure movies were simplistic and yet so enthralling, few films are like The Goonies and it’s fair to say that I’m glad I finally ticked this one off my list of shame.
Keep locked to Filmoria every week as each member of the team will be visiting a movie classic that they’ve never seen and give their thoughts.