35 years since its release, Richard Donner’s beloved 80s adventure romp The Goonies has made its way to 4K UHD Blu-ray. Does this fresh release from Warner Bros Home Entertainment breathe new life into the cult classic, or does it simply show its age clearer than ever before?
Based on a story by executive producer Steven Spielberg, The Goonies is a warm-hearted and exciting flick that sees a ragtag group of friends leave their ordinary lives for the adventure of a lifetime. When the titular gang find a map to a legendary pirate’s long-lost treasure, they embark on a thrilling quest to find it – with a family of violent thugs hot on their trail.
Those who haven’t seen The Goonies since childhood might be shocked by just how dark the film is. The film even opens on a staged suicide attempt as cover for a violent criminal to bust out of jail, while the scenes of the iconic Sloth (John Matuszak) in captivity underground are genuinely disturbing and upsetting. The real threats of their dangerous adventure create a viewing experience with more tension than most kids’ films, and the scene in which the gang discover the body of an executed FBI agent in the villains’ hideout is something you don’t see any more in family entertainment!
But that’s not to say the film isn’t also full of warm-hearted humour and childlike wonder, taking us on an adventure with the gang that will transport any viewer back to the magic of childhood. The Goonies is packed with Spielbergian adventure and excitement, and a wonderful set of characters played by future stars including Sean Astin, Josh Brolin and Corey Feldman. Their chemistry is pitch-perfect and the wholesome jokes still land, which is always a relief with these nostalgic childhood classic re-releases. While some films of the era have aged to be quite problematic – I’m looking at you, Sixteen Candles – this one still holds up as a whimsical adventure romp like no other.
This 4K release from Warner Bros sees the film looking better than ever before, bringing the gang’s adventure to life with a healthy 2160p transfer. While the disc recycles the previous Blu-ray’s serviceable Dolby TrueHD track, the uptick in detail in picture quality is more than enough incentive to encourage fans of the iconic cult classic to pick up this new disc.
Altogether, now…”Heeeey youuuu guuuuuys”! The Goonies is a wholesome and exciting slice of movie magic that boasts some of the greatest set-pieces of 1980s adventure cinema.