Goon (2012)

April 06, 2012 By Mike B
Movie Review

What Worked?

Fighting is simple, sweet and to the point; a simplified, compact version of life. Goon is the story of a fighter who’s a step behind upstairs, but has a golden heart with a pair of fists to match. Seann William Scott stars  in this story about  a very friendly bouncer’s unlikely success in becoming a popular hockey enforcer. Michael Dowse is in the director’s chair, with Alison Pill, Jay Baruchel and Liev Schrieber joining Seann William Scott as Doug “the thug” Glatt.

Dowse balances the different aspects of Doug’s life rather well, making this film more than just a foul-mouthed Comedy. The script, which is an adaptation of Goon: The True Story of an Unlikely Journey into Minor League Hockey by Adam Frattasio and Doug Smith, is quite rich, showing that Doug is more than a man that can brawl with the best of them, he’s a loyal human being with respect for everyone. The pace of the film is brisk, without sacrificing any of the story or character development, and the fights are brutal and bloody as hell, just the way they should be.

Seann William Scott is in the lead role as Doug Glatt, a bouncer turned Hockey enforcer for a minor league team called the Halifax Highlanders. This is by far the best role Scott has ever had, as well as the best performances he’s given in his career so far. Doug is a bit dimwitted, but it’s almost as if his simple mind is a blessing because respect and kindness come easier to him; his personality is a beautiful contradiction to his skills as a brawler. He’s a man that doesn’t fight for fame or money, he fights for his team’s respect, becoming his Hockey team’s guardian. Scott still brings the laughs, but he also shows just the right amount of his dramatic skills as well, making for a very likable character.

The supporting cast compliment the main character very well, adding to Doug becoming a completely fleshed out character. Baruchel plays his best friend, Ryan, bringing the toilet humor and Alison Pill plays Eva, Doug’s love interest, who does rather well and manages to not be pinned down completely by the typical path for a love interest. Liev Schrieber, as the aging legendary hockey enforcer, adds a rumbling presence, making for a entertaining obstacle for Doug Glatt.

Goon is a fantastic sport’s film for hockey fans and non-hockey fans. Doug is truly a likable character, standing up for what he loves to do and simply doing it, rather than being pinned down to do “what’s best for him.” After all the bashed in teeth, swelled eyes, tender bruises and blood on the ice, it’s hard not to believe in why Doug goes toe-to-toe every time.

Potential Drawbacks:

Many will refer to this as Happy Gilmore if Happy never got into golf. This could be distracting, but Goon is the all-around better film, even though Happy Gilmore might have more laughs to some.

For hockey fans, this doesn’t go too far in representing the sport, as it’s more of a character study than anything else, and the character doesn’t really play hockey, he just kicks ass for the hockey team. If you’re looking for a film that represents or captures the sport of hockey, this isn’t it.

As far as the film itself, this underdog story isn’t as different as the rest, but it is more of a Comedy than most of the underdog stories, similar to Run Fat Boy Run. There’s also quite a lot of vulgar language, so those who aren’t comfortable with that, or plenty of toilet humor, may find this film atrocious.

Film Recommendations:

Run Fat Boy Run

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