This article explores act 1, sequence 2 of the movie “The Goonies” and is intended to serve as an example to help screenwriters understand three act structure.
Act 1 Sequence 2
The map details the location of long lost Spanish treasure captured by a pirate named One-Eyed Willy. Mikey recites the entire story as his father told it to him. At the end of the tale, Willy escaped to a cave that was bombarded by the British fleet and Willy was sealed inside. Willy surrounded the treasure with booby traps and then killed all his men.
But the other boys do not believe in the story until Chunk strikes again. He trips over a newspaper story about a recluse scavenger who claimed to have the key to One-Eyed Willy’s treasure and Mikey gets the idea that they should go in search of it, but none of the other kids wants to go on any more of Mikey’s adventures. In the meantime, Mr. Perkins the developer arrives with papers for Mr. Walsh to sign to sell the Walsh house. This rattles Mikey with the reality of losing the house and now he really wants to go after the treasure. Brand was told by their mother to keep his brother in the house and he intends on doing just that so that he is not grounded. He has a date with Andy and does not want it disrupted. In Mikey’s SECOND CRITICAL DECISION, he convinces Data, Mouth, and Chunk to reluctantly join him on his treasure hunt. They fasten Brand to a chair using his muscle building equipment and ride off to set up PLOT POINT TWO.
ACT TWO GOAL: Mikey wants to find the Spanish treasure of One-Eyed Willy so he can save his neighborhood from the developers.
Act 2 Sequence 3
Mikey, Data, Mouth, and Chunk head for the coast on their bicycles. Ms. Walsh returns home to find Brand tired up and releases him, then sends him to find his brother. However, the boys let the air out of his bike tires, so he steals the smaller bike of a neighbor girl. Unfortunately, Brand encounters bully Troy Perkins driving his sports car with Andy and Stef. Troy drags Brand and his little bike, then runs him off the road. Meanwhile, Mikey, Data, Mouth, and Chunk find the first landmark on the map that leads them to an old derelict seaside restaurant. Chunk sees a car hidden in a barn he knows was involved in the prison escape, but before he can warn the others, they enter the restaurant where they are captured by Mama and Jake Fratelli.
On a pretense to go to the bathroom, Mikey slips away to look for the treasure, but discovers Sloth instead. Sloth is the third Fratelli son. A deformed giant of a man, he is still a child mentally. That causes Mama Fratelli to kick the boys out of the place. Brand joins them as they watch the restaurant where the Fratellis’ stuff a big bag in the SUV and drive away. Brand, Data, Mouth, and Chunk want to go home at this MIDPOINT where nothing has gone right and no one believes but Mikey. But to Mikey, there is no more home for them if they do not succeed in finding the treasure. Everything may be going wrong, but Mikey’s THIRD CRITICAL DECISION is to continue with the treasure hunt, even though there is a scary being in the restaurant basement.