Ten reasons why a Goonies sequel will work
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And they say you can never go back? We think not...
When was the last time you longed to explore a spectacular underground realm of twisting passages, outrageous booby-traps and a long-lost pirate ship full of golden doubloons? It was probably around the same time you last sighed hopelessly about a girl in your class, when social networking sites, mobile phones and I-pods weren’t corrupting your adult life, even if they are pleasant distractions from death, debt and Jeremy Kyle.
There are some, however, that still hold on to that dream. I often wake, head hurting from last night’s Vino, the thought of work buried in the deepest, darkest part of my duvet, asking myself what difference it would make if instead of going to work I would unfurl that mysterious treasure map and head off to Astoria. Wouldn’t it be great to go on a Goonie adventure? Wouldn’t it be great if the Goonies went on another adventure?
For all the doubters, of whom there are many, terrified by the prospect of Michael Bay taking the helm and casting Shia LaBeouf as Sloth’s lovechild, here are ten mighty fine reasons why a sequel to The Goonies will work and therefore must happen.
1. Adults Communing With Inner Adolescence Is Funny
The success of The Hangover (2009) and Hot Tub Time Machine (2010) prove that bawdy comedies about people who refuse to grow up can be box-office hits. Hardly highbrow and aimed primarily at the male audience, they both managed to stand out from the crowd thanks to the chemistry between the leads, precisely what the Goonies sequel should be about.
No-one wants to see another throng of whippersnappers go on a carbon copy goonie adventure, especially not the kiddiewinks of the original characters. Instead, we want to see Chunk trim (as Jeff Cohen now is) and a hit with the ladies, Mouth using a throat back due to smoking-associated ailments, Data still inventing a load of crap and Andy a washed-up actress filing for her fourth divorce while Stef, by now a well-read, intellectual figure, keeps stealing her husbands just because she can.
2. Sloth Can Still Be In It
Dying of heart failure in 1989, ex-football player turned actor John Matuszak played Lotney ‘Sloth’ Fratelli, the loveable monster who had a thing for Baby Ruth and funny fubsy Chunk. Luckily, Matuszak was so heavily-clad in makeup, with a role that required no lines (watch One Crazy Summer (2006) to fully appreciate his acting ability); in this day and age it would be simplicity itself to recreate the loveable rogue (Sloth, not Matuszak).
But wait, maybe the death of such a much-loved character would bring the guys back together again, and let’s face it, who wouldn’t shed a tear when a mid-thirties Lawrence ‘Chunk’ Cohen is finally forced to say goodbye to such an endearing hunk of heroism? This inciting incident would radically upset the balance of forces in their lives, so while some of the Goonies are seemingly happy with their lot, the death of Sloth will force them to make a decision, upsetting the balance, swinging the value-charge of their reality either to the negative or to the positive. Consequently, this makes for conflict by the bucket-load, especially if some of the guys have fallen out over the years.
3. Booby Traps Are Cool Again
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008) sucked for many reasons, but the biggest problem was that Harrison Ford is just too old to be gallivanting about on some crazy, kick-ass adventure, dodging booby traps and whipping anything other than a chocolate treat with a walnut on top. This kind of scenario only really works in a Pixar flick, so watching the gang embarrass themselves is out of the question.
Instead, we play a game… Saw (2004) and the ensuing franchise has proven, once again, that booby traps are exciting. I’m not saying Mikey should be terrorised by a sadistic killer angry with the card he’s been dealt, but the traps/games should be just as resourceful as those created by Jigsaw, more fully grown than playing a souped-up piano in which sounding the wrong key sends you crashing to your doom.
We’re all adults now, so let’s have some darkly comic, seriously sinister, edge of your seat scenarios - like Chunk confronting the reverse bear-trap: The key to free himself is inserted into one of many Baby Ruths that have been implanted in the stomach of his dead cell mate, Sloth. He isn’t really dead, a muscle-paralyser forces him to lay there and watch as his best friend stabs him to death, meaning he misses the part in which a super-slim Chunk has to then gorge on dozens of gut-soaked chocolate bars to find the key.
I may have digressed a little from my original point, but progressive complications are what make movies great, and everyone loves a booby trap.
4. Lame Gadgets Are Comedy Gold
Comedy is hated by critics because they have no argument and therefore, nothing to say: If the audience laughs, it works; if it doesn’t laugh, it doesn’t work. In comedy laughter settles all arguments, and there’s nothing finer than the visual kind.
While the later Bond movies have suffered with gadgets that are merely introduced early on for an obvious pay-off later down the line, hilarious for all the wrong reasons, gadgets in comedy are usually designed to fail spectacularly, which, when done right, is so very funny.
Of course, it would be rewarding if Data should finally create something that works, but the original movie, and others like Gremlins (1984) and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971) make better use of dodgy creations invented by oblivious characters for comical purposes, and as long as it pushes the story forward, this plot device should be cherished and nurtured in the sequel.
5. Lost Boys 2 Was Rubbish
Okay Corey, time to admit it... Lost Boys 2: The Tribe (2008) was completely bunkum. An enjoyably appalling sequel, for sure, largely noticeable for a lack of original cast members and a desperate script trying to embrace the feel-good factor of the first, but still utter tommyrot.
We’re not blaming you, though. After all, you excelled in Gremlins, were magnificent in Stand By Me (1986) and even made The Burbs (1989) bearable. Sadly, not one of these films requires a revisit, and now Corey Haim is no longer with us, License to Drive Part Two is also consigned to the trash.
Therefore, it stands to reason that you do everything in your power to make the Goonies sequel happen. What’s that, you have? And still nothing? Did you talk to Spielberg? You did, and still no change? Did you mention the cancer kazoo? You did? Well, get on your knees and beg, Feldman, because this is your last chance at success, okay? To paraphrase your character Dean in License To Drive (1988), your career just got passed by a street sweeper.
6. Everyone Loves Pirates
Forget the overblown sequels, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003) was a refreshing take on the action/adventure film and a welcome return for pirates, whose absence from the big screen is as sorrowful as anything in Davey Jones’ locker.
Not since Errol Flynn hit the high seas has a movie depicting pirates been as entertaining, merely because every child growing up wanted to be a freebooter, or at the very least, rescued from one. Although The Goonies hinted at pirates, the only one present was One Eyed Willy himself, and he was as dead as Flynn is now. So, where did that pirate ship sail off to, what became of all the treasure onboard, or did Somalia’s most revered get hold of it?
7. They All Want To Do It
You only have to listen to the DVD commentary to realise that everyone wants to see it happen. Okay, so Spielberg was missing and may have other projects to contend with, but other than one scene he apparently directed, what did he do that he can’t do now? Richard Donner, the original auteur, is in desperate need of a revisit. His last movie, 16 Blocks (2006) was alright but nothing sensational, as were the Lethal Weapon sequels, Assassins (1995) and Maverick (1994). Granted, he hasn't had much to work with, other than average scripts and an increasingly indifferent Mel Gibson.
The cast, meanwhile, have made the best of wildly interesting careers since: Josh Brolin and Sean Astin enjoy continued success in Hollywood; Feldman and Quan (Data) have struggled to find any decent material since the nineties - the former struggling to battle various addictions and come to terms with the loss of his best friend Haim; Jeff Cohen is a successful lawyer, Kerri Green got married and does occasional television work, while Martha Plimpton concentrated on theatre work before her recent resurgence in hit programmes Fringe (2008) and Raising Hope (2010).
Nothing spectacular though, and none of the actors are so up their own backsides that they’ll refuse to do it. More importantly, they aren’t dead yet. Jesus, even Joe Pantoliano needs a break. Besides, regardless of their careers since, the commentary on the Goonies DVD proved to me that the chemistry is still there, and although Mouth is still annoying, he hasn’t lost his sensitive side either - and that’s why we still love him.
8. Unresolved Issues
The Goonies sequel is like somebody adapting your favourite book - your imagination is personal and outsiders are determined to ruin that pleasure with their own visions of grandeur. We all want to know what became of the Goonies, and we all have our own ideals, so somebody sticking their nose in and telling us what really happened could be extremely controversial – and seriously annoying.
Having said that, wouldn’t you love to know what these guys are up to? I mean, forget the farce, adventure and high jinks that would ensue, wasn’t the original all about chemistry? Did Mouth and Stef finally get it together? Would Andy have a crush on Mikey now he isn't jailbait? Did Sloth live with Chunk, and if so, how the hell did that work? Would Data finally invent something worth inventing? Did Mouth become a translator and lose his hair? Did Martha eventually turn into the swan our guilty pleasures yearned for? These questions still need to be answered, damn it! And why isn’t Baby Ruth readily available over here?
9. The Truffle Shuffle
Will they? Would they even dare? I’d pay a tenner to watch it in 3D for that one answer alone.
10. We Never Say Die
So there we have it. Ten mighty fine reasons why we need another Goonies adventure. Yes, there are many reasons why it shouldn’t happen. The A-Team (2010), Streetfighter (1994), A Nightmare On Elm Street (2010), Manimal (I wish) are just a few childhood favourites that became cinematic turkeys, but I for one would like somebody, other than Michael Bay, to take a gamble, stick their neck out and put their golden doubloons where their mouth is.
So what if they mess up? They’re a Goonie, and Goonies always mess up…
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