The 1980s, when Star
Wars was cool, Transformers
were the toys to be worshipped, and the name Data
was synonymous with The
Goonies, and not an android from science
fiction television. After Steve Spielberg's huge
wave of success directing Jaws,
Close Encounters of the
Third Kind, Raiders
of the Lost Ark, and E.T.,
he started to amplify his box-office victories
by assisting as an executive producer on a myriad
of other projects.
In 1985, riding off the wave that
was Indiana Jones and
the Temple of Doom the year before, Steven
Spielberg teamed up with two talented directors
to create two of the greatest films that summer.
One, directed by Robert Zemeckis (who that previous
year directed Romancing
the Stone), would make cinema history with
a kid, a crazy professor, and a Delorean Time
Machine under the title Back
to the Future. The other film was a rollicking
adventure yarn concocted by Spielberg and directed
by Richard Donner, the legendary director of Superman:
The Movie, and this movie was titled The
ready for 1
last adventure together.
tells the story of a group of middle school kids,
Mikey, Mouth, Chunk, and Data, who come from the
poor side of town in an area called "the
Goon Docks". In a few days, they will all
lose their homes to a country club developer unless
they can come up with an exorbitant sum of money.
Bored one rainy afternoon, the boys head up into
the attic where Mikey's father, who works at a
museum, stores a number of artifacts. They find
a pirate treasure map that once belonged to One-Eyed
Willy, which indicates that his treasure is somewhere
near the coast where the Goon Docks sit. Brand
tells Mikey that everyone has searched and it
is only a legend.
The boys find local landmarks on
the map, which lead them to an abandoned restaurant.
Little do they know that the Fratellis, a ruthless
family of criminals use the site as a hideout.
They enter the building and come face to face
with Mama Fratelli. From there, the adventure
kicks into high gear as the Goonies desperately
try to escape the Fratellis, while navigating
ancient caves and a labyrinth of pirate tricks
and traps in the hopes of finding the One-Eyed
Willy's treasure first. But can they survive what
Willy has in store for them?
parallels the Indiana Jones series in many ways,
and mimics it with style, wit, and flare. The
initial references and coincidences are obvious.
For one, Steven Spielberg was involved and having
come right off of Indiana
Jones and the Temple of Doom, the cave
sets and the cinematography in the underground
tunnels are almost identical to the second Indiana
Jones adventure. The other very clear parallel,
unless you have no sight, is the fact that Short
Round himself is along for the ride. Ke Huy Quan
plays the gadget crazy Data in the film and he
is a joy to watch for any Indy fan. All Indy fans
will also note that Robert Davi's character in
the film wears an Indiana Jones fedora during
the film while chasing the Goonies.
The traps in the film are also very
reminiscent of Indiana Jones. For example, when
Data falls down a trap door and almost lands on
a floor of spikes, one cannot help but recall
the spiked chamber in the palace in Temple
of Doom. In one sequence, the Goonies find
another dead adventurer crushed by a massive rock,
which immediately conjures up the image of Indy
finding his dead competitor from the opening sequence
of Raiders of the Lost
Ark. When the boys trigger the rest of
the falling boulders, the similarities to the
boulder chase in Raiders
are apparent. In the sequence when they must play
the bone organ, the organ itself reminds the viewer
of the statue of Kali with the proliferation of
skulls and bones.
When the Goonies are searching for
the caves, Mikey carries a map much like Indy's
from the opening shots of Raiders
of the Lost Ark, and Mikey's use of the
medallion to align the horizon feels much like
Indy in the Map Room at Tanis. And also, in the
tradition of Indiana
Jones and the Last Crusade, the climax
of the film peaks when the final trap is accidentally
sprung and the whole place comes crashing down.
Now, with the new Special Edition
DVD, Indy fans have even more to enjoy. During
the audio commentary, Corey Feldman makes mention
of Davi's Indy hat numerous times, exclaiming
"Did he steal that hat from Harrison Ford?!"
The other rare treat is Steven Spielberg's cameo
in the Cyndi Lauper music video. Any Indiana Jones
fan in their right mind will get a real kick out
of this film. It's a vintage eighties, Spielberg
adventure. It doesn't get any better than that.