The plot of The Goonies may not win any awards for originality, but that doesn’t stop it being a great example of the classic case of the evil business man who will bulldoze the homes of a group of kids and their families in order to build a golf course, or shopping mall or something, unless the parents can come up with an unfeasible amount of money to stop him. I forget exactly what the developer wants to build in this case, but it doesn’t matter as you’ve no doubt seen this plot a thousand times before. The kids, who call themselves the Goonies, find a treasure map supposedly leading to the horde of pirate One Eyed Willy. They decide to follow the map in a last ditch effort to save their homes.
Where The Goonies excels in telling this story is the wide variety of the misfit characters who work together to save their homes, the convincing back story, and the second set of evil comedy villains, the Fratellis, who follow the Goonies trying to claim the treasure for themselves. Everything gels together perfectly, as you would expect from a film that had Steven Spielberg, Richard Donner and Chris Columbus (no, not the explorer) behind it.
The Goonies are Mikey, the daydreamer who persuades the other kids to look for the treasure, Brand, his older brother, Chunk, the fat kid, Mouth, the egomaniac, and Data, the kid with all the gadgets. They are reluctantly joined by two girls, Andy, the typical American Cheerleader, and Stef, her more level headed friend. Following the treasure map they negotiate a series of caves under their homes, facing an array of traps such as massive boulders which drop from the ceiling, a massive water slide and a spooky organ which causes huge sections of the caves floor to drop away whenever a wrong note is played.
The villains of the piece are the Fratellis. Led by Mama Fratelli, a mean old woman who frankly looked more like a man, she and her sons Jake and Francis capture Chunk, and use him to track the other kids down. However, Chunk is imprisoned with Sloth, the third Fratelli brother, who is bullied and kept chained up by his family due to his freakish looks. Whilst initially scared to death, Chunk befriends Sloth, who ends up helping the kids to fend off the rest of the Fratelli’s at the end of the movie.
I heartily recommend you watch (or re-watch) The Goonies again. It’s still great fun and because it only used fairly simple special effects throughout, it hasn’t aged too badly either – except perhaps for the bit where the kids are attacked by a group of bats. The bats are pretty awful, but the different reactions from the kids are priceless. And if you are a really big fan already, you may be interested to know that a number of action figures are to be released soon of the kids and Sloth. One place you can get them from is Munkeygames.