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The Goonies



The creative vision of Steven Spielberg and the proven directorial hand of Richard Donner make the 1985 comic adventure The Goonies seem a lot better than it really is. The film centers on a group of kids search for a treasure in hopes of saving the foreclosure of two of the boys' home, who find their quest complicated by a trio of comic villains, who also happen to be family.

Spielberg and Donner have taken what is basically a children's bedtime story or campfire ghost story and elevated it to epic proportions, giving the story a grandiosity that I'm not really sure it deserves. Spielberg and Chris Columbus' screenplay is overly intricate, offering perhaps a bit too much detail, resulting in the film's over length and multiple endings which are hard to endure because the story works so hard at making us love these characters that we know there's only way for the story to end and the journey to said ending shouldn't have been as long as it was.

Director Richard Donner, a proven master of directing a proper action sequence since 1978's Superman: The Motion Picture mounts action sequences that compensate for the over indulgent story. He gets grand assists in the area of art direction, set direction, and cinematography, which are all first rate, but this is to be expected of any film where Steven Spielberg is present on the set.

The young cast of future stars is competent, with standout work from Sean Astin and Corey Feldman and I loved Anne Ramsey, Robert Davi, and Joe Pantoliano as the comic version of Ma Barker and her boys. The film is overlong and has slow moments along the way, but Spielberg and Donner's love for the project is on the screen and the film is definitely worth a glance to fantasy and action fans. Spielberg fans will definitely have a head start.