Nostalgia is a powerful force. It reminds us of ‘better’ and more ‘simple’ times, so we often yearn for a return to this time or place. What can also be said of nostalgia is that it clouds and impairs our vision, so we look back at a film or TV show, we see it not as it is. Instead, we see it through fogged lenses, not recognising what it is. The Goonies is such a film that we see through fogged lenses ignoring or choosing to ignore the film’s casual racism, one-note characters, incoherent plot and cringe-inducing lines. A particular lowlight of these lines includes, “Why don’t we just put chocolate all over the floor and let Chunk eat his way through?”. It’s not funny nor necessary; it’s bullying hidden behind the veil of alleged camaraderie. Viewing through fogged lenses allows for those prejudices and stereotypes to be ignored and is the only way to enjoy the film’s highlights.
These highlights, for many, are enough to give the film cult status. Its youthful innocence, antagonists that are as iconic as they are confusing, the cheesiest of cheesy scenes, and a young Josh Brolin are enough to derive some enjoyment from the film. However, the real enjoyment comes from revisiting a childhood classic and seeing if it matches the version that you remember. So when remembering and revisiting a film like The Goonies that is so steeped in nostalgia, is it possible to overcome that powerful force to see the film as it is in the present day?