Positive Cynicism – One Goonies is good enough

Aaron Davis

Aaron R. Davis

This week, the internet exploded when director Richard Donner offhandedly told TMZ that he was making a sequel to The Goonies.

My first response? Bullshit. That rumor’s been flying around for decades now, and frankly, Donner’s got a better chance of making yet another Lethal Weapon flick with Mel Gibson back in the lead than Goonies 2.

My second response? Meh. It’s not like it would probably be very good. What could the plot possibly be? A bunch of 40 year-olds renting boats to go out and look for that pirate ship? If they haven’t found it since 1985, they’re probably not going to find it now, and honestly, the idea that Mikey’s been out faithfully searching for that thing on weekends for nearly 30 years is just kind of sad. He’s got a better chance of finding that floating garbage island, and no one wants to watch that, because that’s even more depressing.

My third response — and I’m surprised it took me that long to process this one — is that no one’s going to like it, anyway. Especially fans of the original.

I keep talking about this, but I really don’t understand my generation of movie fans. What is it you really think you’re going to like? Remember how you all wanted a live action Transformers? You hated it. Remember how you all wanted a live action G.I. Joe? You hated that, too. “Oh, please, give us a live action/CGI Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles! Oh, shit, they have noses? Pass.”

It’s like my generation never learned to stop being babies. We absolutely love the idea of someone going back to the well and picking up something they did for us when we were underage and giving us more of it … until they do, and then we hate them for trying.

What makes you guys think you’re not going to hate the new Star Wars the way you hated the prequels? I am genuinely curious about that one. Is it because George Lucas isn’t directly involved? What makes you think you’re going to like it any better from the director of those new Star Trek movies you hate so much? Why are you so excited about the new one when all you’ve been doing is bashing Star Wars for so long?

Don’t you remember how excited you were for Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, only to despise it right from the opening shot? I still don’t understand how surviving a nuclear blast in a fridge is any more goofy than surviving a jump out of a plane on an inflatable raft, but … well, I suppose the difference could be that you’re not eight years old anymore. Is anyone going to concede that, ever? That a large part of the reason you don’t like these newer efforts is that you’re a cynical, Internet-damaged adult?

What is it that makes everyone clamor for a Goonies 2 and shout down a Ghostbusters 3? Don’t give me that bit about Harold Ramis being dead. Yes, that sucks, but he wasn’t dead in 2009, when we were all begging Dan Aykroyd to never make a Ghostbusters 3. Is it just that you know Bill Murray doesn’t want to do it? Or is it that Dan Aykroyd starting talking about adding in younger actors to play new Ghostbusters?

Honestly, if Richard Donner said Goonies 2 was going to focus more on the children of the original characters having an adventure of their own, would you still be really excited about the prospect? Or would you start doing that whole bit that you do about so-and-so fucking your childhood in the ass? (You know, the Internet’s version of throwing a temper tantrum, only done by adults who should know better how to process disappointment.)

What is it about young people and children being into your childhood movies that pisses you off so much?

Is it that you’re getting old?

How about we start being honest about that, huh? We’re getting old. I’m 37 now. I’ve been profoundly disappointed by life. I did not see it going the way it has at all. Right now, I’m trying to get over my disappointments and stop trying to live — or worse, just waiting for — the life I imagined when I was younger and start being open to enjoying the life I actually have. I like to sit and watch the movies of my childhood just as much as anyone. I love The Goonies. And I have it on DVD. But I don’t need a second adventure any more than I need to go ride my bike and fight in caves and search for pirate treasure. My back hurts, and I have appointments to keep. I’m a grown man, and I accept that.

But you know what? I’m only 37. I’m not 67. Yeah, childhood’s long over, but for chrissakes, it’s not like I’m getting ready for my twilight years. Seeing Seth Rogen in a Ghostbusters uniform or Chunk’s kid doing the truffle shuffle don’t really threaten me. They don’t make me sad and angry about my life or the fact that time only moves forward. I’m not a kid anymore. Kids today should have their own adventures and movies that reflect that. You kids want your own Star Wars movies? Have at them. I already had mine. You kids want your own Transformers? Go ahead; I don’t really need them anymore.

Stop being offended because the kids today have slightly different versions of the stuff you loved when you were nine. Trust me, adults back then thought you were an idiot for liking the version that was made for you. Let it go.

Do I think they should make Goonies 2? No. Because the only way to do it honestly would be to either pass the torch to a new generation of kids (which is pandering and a little desperate) or to focus on how disappointingly everyone’s life turned out (which is depressing and unnecessary). Is it going to kill me if it does get made? No, because it’s really not going to be made to cater to guys my age, and I am okay with that. Do I think a Goonies 2 will actually get made? No. I think it’s more likely that Richard Donner just wanted to get TMZ out of his face. And we’re all fine without it.

Goonies never say die. But they’re perfectly allowed to say they had a long day and just want to unwind before work tomorrow.

Aaron R. Davis lives in a cave at the bottom of the ocean with his eyes shut tight and his fingers in his ears. You can contact him at samuraifrog@yahoo.com

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