Starring: River Phoenix, Kiefer Sutherland, Corey Feldman, Will Wheaton, Jerry O’Connell
Director: Rob Reiner
This film allows you to reflect on your childhood. You’ll feel yourself looking back on the good times and the bad times with help from the films heartwarming characters and plot. You become attached to the characters as soon as the film starts.
The characters are a bunch of school kids who set off together on an adventure to find a dead body. Does that sound like fun? Well, it was certainly eventful enough for them, as they spent Labour Day Weekend in their town of Castle Rock doing just that. The film focuses around one main character in particular, who goes by the name Gordie (Wheaton). He is having a hard time at home as he and his family are struggling to get over the death of his older brother, so he decides to spend the weekend with his friends. Present day Gordie narrates the film, voiced by Richard Dreyfuss and it has a bit of a ‘Wonder Years’ charm to it, which I like a lot. The narration really helps draw you in. Gordie’s friends are troubled Chris Chambers (Phoenix), Teddy Duchamp (Feldman) and Vern Tessio (O’Connell). They each have some sort of background story, mainly to do with hurt or abuse, and they find comfort in each other.
A young Kiefer Sutherland plays the bad boy named Ace. Although he isn’t present an awful lot, he really does let his presence be known when he is on-screen. This is a fine display from a then up and coming star, and I still think that he is a very under-rated film actor today. Ace and his gang terrorise the kids whenever the chance arises, which prevents the story from growing old and allows for a bit of action aside from the adventure.
River Phoenix is also young in this film, and he shows fantastic potential to go on to become a future star. It’s just a shame that his life was cut short only a few years later.
Corey Feldman plays a dorky nerd rather well, and he is the character that makes this film often quite humorous with his silly phrases and dare-devil approach to any danger they may come across.
Praise goes out to all of the young actors in this film, and over the years it has become a classic ‘must watch’. If you haven’t seen it yet, and you have a heart, then you know what to do.