The Goonies is the best film ever made? We couldn’t possibly comment but our swell buddy Lorna from GamingLives certainly can. Here’s her reasons, pay attention.
1 – Adventure. To my mind, which is perhaps warped by nostalgia somewhat, no one’s done adventure like it since. Yes, there have been epic adventures, like Lord of the Won’t It Ever End, but this is different. There’s an innocence with The Goonies, but it never strays into twee or fluff territory. It’s smart, funny, engaging, and sweeps you away into the world of Mikey and chums. You’re on that quest as much as they are, you get the childlike desperation to just save their homes, to help their parents, to chase a stupid, rainy-day dream that could, just could, become a reality. It’s what we – or at least I – secretly always dreamed of as a kid. Empowerment, adventure, booby traps, pirates, treasure, discovering a long-lost map in a dusty attic, and setting off on a quest with a team of friends. The spirit of adventure oozes out of the screen like it’s trickling from one of One Eyed Willy’s decaying eye sockets.
3 – Anne Ramsay as Mama Fratelli. Beret-wearing Fratelli family matriarch Mama Fratelli was a tough, take-no-shit woman who pulled zero punches and had no compunction about slapping her kids around (Robert Davi and Joe Pantoliano – fantastic). Robert Davi (future villain in one of the best Bond films thus far – fuck you, Dalton was awesome) must have been a million times taller than her, but she took no sass. No one does scary woman like Anne Ramsay. When she comes after you, you fucking run. Even the dead pirates must have been shaking in their shackles.
4 – The Truffle Shuffle. So good it has a whole retro t-shirt site named after it. The fat-shaming jig that launched a thousand laughs and helped send The Goonies rocketing to its place in classic film history will never be forgotten. When you have to absolutely positively (reluctantly) have to let someone into your home, accept no substitutes. If all unwelcome visitors were made to do this at your front gate, the world would be a nicer place.
5 – The cast. Kids who could act? I know, right. Probably the best film that Corey ‘isn’t he dead yet’ Feldman has ever been in. No, don’t even fucking suggest The Lost Boys, thanks. That film had one great thing – the soundtrack – the rest can kiss Near Dark‘s arse. Sean Astin? Score. Martha Plimpton? Score. Josh Brolin? Score. All great. Some may not have been grand thespians, but as a team, they worked beautifully. Watch the commentary reunion thing on the newer DVD releases to see what they’re like and what they’re doing now – great stuff.
6 – Endless eighties quotes. “Sloth love Chunk”, “More amazing than the time Michael Jackson came over to your house to use the bathroom?”, “First you gotta do the truffle shuffle”, “You boys like tongue?”, “I feel like I’m babysitting except I’m not getting paid”, “…and then this was horrible… all the people started getting sick and throwing up all over each other. I never felt so bad in my entire life.”
7 – The-not-quite torture scene. When the Fratellis are trying to extract info from Chunk about the location of his pals (by threatening to put his fist in a blender – and this was a kids’ film, remember ; they don’t make ’em like that any more!), he ends up giving them more than they bargained for, with his entire life story and every bad thing he ever did, including vomiting noises. The Fratelli boys listen in with horrified fascination.
8 – Cyndi Lauper. I know, but it was the eighties, so her inclusion was almost a pre-requisite.
9 – The set-pieces and memorable scenes. Whether it was the booby-trap scene, with the discovery of the sad remains of ex-adventurer Chester Copperpot, or the sinister-as-fuck organ of bones, The Goonies had so many memorable scenes. And the fucking pirate ship! It was a pirate ship. Did you see the pirate ship? It was incredible. Full of brutalised skeletons, booby traps and, of course, the fabled treasure, the pirate ship in its hidden cavern, surrounded by blue water and a lethal octopus (which wasn’t in the original DVD release, FFS!) was a grand location and perfect as the film’s action finale.
10 – Happy ending. No sarky, jaded, gloomy, misery-porn type ending. No hopelessness, no pathos, no trauma, no smart-arse fuck you up twist, no preaching, no moral lessons, no bullshit. It was straightforward. The good guys won. They saved their homes and families. And for that day, they were the heroes we always wanted to be. They lived the adventure for us children of the eighties. It’s why The Goonies will always be awesome.