Length: 114 minutes / 1.90 hours
Cult classics are intriguing films. I feel there is a lot of nostalgia tied to a movie that hits a generation of individuals at just the right time for them to be memorable to these people. Sometimes, these cult classics are movies that I didn’t get around to seeing—especially when they were relevant to my friends. For whatever reason, The Goonies (1985) has eluded me for 35 years. I can certainly see its appeal, but I mostly just watched it and wondered why people thought it was so great.
I will say that this film is a trip down memory lane in the sense that I don’t think I’ve ever seen a movie with either Sean Astin or Josh Brolin as young as they were in this one. The fact that many meme-able moments from this film have lasted in the popular culture zeitgeist for so long is a testament to its powerful nostalgia. Having never seen The Goonies until now, I already knew it was about pirate treasure and the adventure a rag-tag group of kids embarks on to recover it.
All this being said, The Goonies is weird. I felt like its first act dragged along, and it didn’t get interesting until about half-way through (when it entered its Indiana Jones phase). Plus, there were almost too many subplots that seemed to be included to pad the run-time on an already light plot. Sure, each of the kids had their own adventure along the way, but did it need to include “Sloth” (John Matuszak)? If anything, I found The Goonies to be a bit insensitive to the disabled, as well as to Asians—with the Asian stereotype being played for laughs more often than not.
A cult classic that I couldn’t get into, I give The Goonies 3.0 stars out of 5.