Why I Just Don't Get The Goonies Laura Kadner

I know what I have to say is not going to be popular. Nobody asked me for my opinion but I’m gonna share it nonetheless. So with all this in mind, let me tell you why:

I don’t get The Goonies.

I don’t like The Goonies.

I know this seems like a horrible thing to say. It seems like the kind of thing one shouldn’t say, unless they want to be called out as some sort of witch or a devil or some other character related to Halloween. Which is crazy because I love Halloween.

But I definitely don’t love The Goonies.

To be perfectly honest, I don’t exactly remember what happened in the film because I found it so unappealing and my sole viewing of it was about 7 years ago. Perhaps part of its magic is watching it when you’re young enough not to question what you’re looking at. Because all I remember is a bunch of kids, some sort of gang of bullies, and a really creepy monster who might’ve been a person with some sort of mental problem and a physical deformity. I think they were all hunting for treasure because they needed money to save the town or some such junk.

How can I possibly hate something I don’t even remember? Well, easily. That’s how much I hated it. When I truly hate something, I tend to wipe it from memory. And just thinking about it stirs up negative feelings similar to those that arise when I think about going to the dentist or being forced to dance at parties.

One might argue that I’m an adult, so obviously I wouldn’t like some kids’ movie. Not true! I love plenty of movies and TV shows aimed at kids – be they past or present. I constantly watch things not aimed at my demographic and anyone with half a brain will tell you there’s tons to learn from cartoons. There are tons of people who can attest to my age-inappropriate enthusiasm for tween programming and/or movies. Give me kids battling monsters or bullies and stories where teenage girls get makeovers and participate in group dance numbers and I am there. That stuff appeals to everyone, right? And I just plain butts-out love scamps – be they The Sandlot bunch trying to retrieve a baseball in kooky ways because knocking on that neighbor’s door is just too terrifying or Labyrinth’s selfish jerk girl who has to practically die to retrieve the obnoxious baby she wished away.

But The Goonies just lacked that certain pizzazz I want to see in an adventure movie. It was too weird without enough fun. I love weird things, generally speaking, but only when I find them fun. For example, I much prefer, say, Forbidden Zone to Trash Humpers. Although my dislike of Trash Humpers is making me realize I might hate Goonies because of that awful rubber-masked monster. I have just realized I really don’t like rubber masks, or masks on characters with whom I’m supposed to sympathize. Go figure. The point is, is that Forbidden Zone had a human chandelier and that was weird and I liked it. Whereas Trash Humpers had mask-wearing people humping trash and I didn’t like it. And The Goonies employs similar poor-quality mask-wearing. But I digress.

In the film, I’m pretty sure a gang of adults was trying to stop the kids from doing something – and the mean old people gang didn’t even get to meet any violent end, a la Home Alone or Home Alone 2: Lost in New York. This was a major blow to the film’s structure.  What’s the point in having an adult who’s a turd if they’re not going to meet a grisly end? Or at least have a mental breakdown like Ms. Trunchbull in Matilda. I think they might just get arrested, if I remember correctly.

The thing that most deterred me was that oddly formed monster guy. Where did that thing even come from?? He wasn’t a person – was he? As far as I remember, he was chained in a hole underground or something. And I think he was a nice monster, but I couldn’t make it past his unmoving rubbery malformed face. Call me shallow, but I prefer my monsters made of rocks like the Rock Biter in the Neverending Story or made of pizza like Pizza the Hut in Spaceballs.

The Goonies should appeal to me, which I suppose is the most frustrating part of all. With Amazon reviews like: “Within the first 5 minutes of the movie there was foul language by the KIDS in the movie, reference to drugs, and a small statue of a naked man with an erection” and “what child enjoys seeing a pale, dead body fall out of the closet? AWFUL” and “There is also a scene in which a child mentions sexual torture, a fake hanging scene, and some talk about sex” – it seems like something any person could enjoy! But, sadly, no. One reviewer states, “My parents won’t let me watch this and I’m almost eleven.”

I wish my parents had stopped me. And I was almost 18. But if they had stopped me, that would’ve been hard since I was living 3000 miles away from them at the time. That would’ve required a lot of time, travel and most of all, LOVE.

I guess I was hoping for the magic of, say, a Hook or even the dumb delight of D3: The Might Ducks. Yup, I’m saying the third film in The Mighty Ducks series was more enjoyable for me than The Goonies. The inimitable D3: the last in The Mighty Ducks trilogy, which we all know had about as much of the original film’s stupid charm as Saved by the Bell: The New Class had of Saved by the Bell.

But for me, The Goonies boiled down to a bunch of screaming kids running around, adult villains who were too obnoxious to remember but apparently to harmless to deserve a collapsed cave death, and I guess at some point a kid befriends a person/monster/creature and that’s supposed to  be a lovely message. Nuts to The Goonies. It doesn’t work for this lady.

Sometimes I think I should give The Goonies another chance. But then I remember how a large part of the film is spent in tunnels or underground or in some cave grotto. And there’s nothing I hate more than being in tunnels or underground or in random cave grottos. Except maybe being forced to re-watch The Goonies.

Originally posted at Gumdrop Lane.

Images via mymovies.ge, tobivilla.123.is

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  1. While I absolutely adore The Goonies and would have LOVED such an adventure as a kid, there are certain “classics” that I just can’t relate to. So, I get what you mean when you say the magic just isn’t there. Take, for example, The Princess Bride. I just can’t sit through 5 minutes of that movie, nevermind the whole thing. I don’t get it…and I don’t remember much of it because every time it comes on I find myself irritated and can’t pay attention. I also can’t stay awake throughout The Matrix, and thus always fall asleep and have never seen it start to finish. I get it, girl. I really do.

  2. Hi everybody, here every person is sharing such knowledge, therefore it’s nice to read this web site, and I used to visit this webpage everyday.

    Anonymous | 3/24/2012 03:03 am
  3. You have noted very interesting points ! ps nice site.

    Anonymous | 3/24/2012 03:03 am
  4. I sadly have to admit I am not a huge Goonies fan either. I’ve found that I strongly dislike 80′s movies that I didn’t grow up watching for some reason. My fiancee adores this film with a passion, so I just grin and bare watching it with him and hope that his desire to watch it again won’t spark for another several months ;D

  5. Awe girl, Goonies was one of the best films as a kid. I mean the kids themselves were awesome, Chunk, Mouth, Data, and Mikey.In your group of friends you would choose which one represented who most. And than to imagine yourself on an adventure with those friends while danger lurks behind. And the water slide part was the best. I always wish they would make some ride out of that like at Universal Studios. Classic film. I love stories of adventure with maps and treasure and hey at the end everything is savvy! They save their neighborhood, Bran gets the girl, and Sloth gets a new family, and the curse of one-Eyed willie is finally over. Its great.

  6. Oh God, how can you not love them all!? Labyrinth, Hook, The Sandlot, The Goonies, all of these are childhood classics! Although now, when I rewatch them I giggle to myself (except for Hook, if you don’t like Hook I can’t take anything you have to say seriously), they just remind me of being young and having my first crushes (David Bowie, Dante Basco (Rufio), Benny). It’s all in good fun, none of these movies of this genre should be taken too seriously (except, once again, Hook. Brilliant.)

  7. First, I appreciate that you have your own opinion about the movie (I am sure there are beloved classics that aren’t my favorite) however- slightly unfair to have such a strong opinion of something that you don’t really remember– if you have even the teensiest bit of knowledge about the movie- you remember Sloth! (the moster) Second, The Goonies is about ever-lasting friendship, love, hope, conquering the insurmountable and finding your voice when everyone else thinks your a whimpy kid. It even preaches historical preservation! It has much more heart than those make-over movies that “appeal to everyone.” Last, Sloth was the son of Mrs. Fratelli and she didn’t love him like she loved her other sons. All he wanted was acceptance and to be part of a family and he found that understanding and familial love with Chunk- Chunk didn’t bully, judge or tease (other great messages by the way), Chunk and Sloth became brothers. In the end, it wasn’t about the hunt for treasure- it was about finding and realizing what truly mattered. Goonies never say die!

  8. Im a proud goonie!! loved everything about it <3

  9. this made me sad it’s a classic!

    Anonymous | 3/23/2012 02:03 pm
  10. They showed this in my Art class in high school (i don’t know why). I watched maybe ten minutes of it before pulling out my sketch book and tuning it out.

  11. Woah. Woah. Woah. Maybe you ARENT a GOONIE and you WANNA go HOME BUT STILL If you haven’t watched The Goonies since childhood, you really shouldn’t even review it now. Because you then can’t accurately remember something like a fake jail suicide, when a hand almost goes into a blender as Chunk proudly tells the story of pretending to vomit in a crowded movie theater and causing other people to actually vomit. You have Astoria, Oregon. This is probably why people go to Haystack Rock on Cannon Beach.

    This is a story where the monster that you don’t remember helps saves the & stops being chained in the basement. Data the dorky kid next door, and Mikey with his inhaler, his older brother who just wants to get with the hot cheerleader they all have to go in search of gold.

    You can totally have free will. You can say you don’t like The Goonies, but you should watch it first so that you know why you don’t like it. I wouldn’t sit around saying I don’t like E.T because it’s about some alien that comes down to Earth and maybe kills Drew Barrymore or some little boy for Reeses Cups (not pieces).

    The underdog rising up to save the day is a classic American story, especially when told to children in film. Especially with booty traps— booby traps– that’s what I said. There is suspense, there is comedy and there is even murderrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. There is a pirate ship.

    And how many people reading this desperately wanted to slide down that waterfall into the giant blue lagoon? I thought that looked like the most fun in the world.

    If I was ever bullied as a kid, and hey, I was bullied a lot, I’d rely on my inner goonie. The part of me that knew I was part of something bigger that was going to be able to stick it out, take deep breaths & save my own day.

    • I watched it as an 18 year old for the first time, which was probably my only mistake. I probably should re-watch it to give it a thorough review, but this was more about my impression of it and how if you miss out on something the first run it has, sometimes the magic doesn’t translate. I don’t think I totally mucked up the story that badly – I read a few summaries of the movie – but I realize now I have offended people because I don’t have the nostalgic attachment necessary to bring enchantment to it’s story description.

      Anyway. For one more unpopular opinion, I don’t really like ET because it was terrifying. And I really don’t like when he’s dying. I guess my go-to underdog movie as a kid was something more along the lines of Home Alone or Matilda – where the odds may be stacked against you but by using your own genius and creative mind you can win the day and give an adult a mental breakdown.

    • totally agree!

      Anonymous | 3/23/2012 02:03 pm
  12. You and Ted Mosby have that in common.

  13. Goonies is a timeless classic in my opinion. Of course it helps if one’s first viewing of it was contemporary to the release date, in which all movies had that look, that quality (or lack thereof) in special effects, etc.. but i believe that the charm of the movie persists despite of that.
    J.J. Abrams himself, while writing and directing 2011′s Super 8 paid homage to The Goonies; this is a well known fact. So I guess at least he gets it!

    • I agree in that I love practical effects and such, up to preferring say Michel Gondry’s almost entirely practical effects-laden movies. The Goonies movie just didn’t charm my pants off. I actually prefer Super 8, I’ll admit. Even though I didn’t like it much, either. I love movies of the 80s/90s , since that is my childhood time!

  14. WAIT JUST A HOT SECOND. YOU LIKE LABYRINTH BUT YOU DON’T LIKE THE GOONIES? BUT THE LABYRINTH IS INFINITELY MORE CONFUSING!!! Woman I don’t understand! SERIOUSLY?! Oh hello David Bowie in too-tight purple spandex, you are perfectly acceptable, but GOD FORBID if we have to watch kids find treasure in the Goonies a second time!

    • Umm I think you just made my own point for me. You got David Bowie in too-tight spandex – and he’s prancing around singing and there are MUPPETS!! What’s better than Muppets? Definitely not re-watching The Goonies.

  15. thank you! someone else understands!

  16. Haven’t seen it. And the desire isn’t really there to see it. I’m improving though, I did finally watch “A Christmas Story” two years ago. Not a fan of that one….

    • Yeah – That’s another one I feel like you had to watch as a kid or it’s really dumb. My brother and I attempted A Christmas Story a few years ago and turned it off after about 15 minutes. Oh, well.

  17. i don’t like the goonies either and i saw when i was a child. i guess it’s a fantasy for a lot of kids but there wasn’t any part of it that didn’t seem like a nightmare for me.

  18. The appeal isn’t for the older children, it is meant to watch when you are younger unless you still have a young heart. It is about someones imagination about what they thought a treasure hunt was all about, how you have to have hope that even when things are bad there might be a chance to save it, friendship is key, don’t drop babies on their heads and mostly don’t trust strangers. I love the movie because who didn’t want to go on a treasure hunt when they were younger or save the world????

  19. I hate the Goonies, too. I don’t get it’s appeal at all. I find it disturbing and slightly offensive actually. Perhaps it is something that must be seen at a young age to be enjoyed, but I can’t imaging my 9-yr-old self liking it any more.

    Anonymous | 3/23/2012 07:03 am
  20. Wow-after reading this article I was saddened: for this 50 plus mom with a 20 plus daughter, the Goonies is one of those movies that while clicking through channels, we will stop and watch anytime it’s on!! It has some great lines (chunk’s confession is  classic)  that we still quote from time to time and it’s harmless fun. There are no hi-tech special effects or gimmicks, it might not even appeal to today’s kids. It’s just a bunch of  misfit kids facing their fears by trying one last-ditch effort to save their homes and succeeding, while inadvertantly catching a family of bank robbers.  You’re not supposed to take it seriously or over-analyze it, just enjoy.  I’m sorry you don’t get it, but that’s okay too.  
    P

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