The Goon; A Hockey Fan’s Must SeeJanuary 7, 2012, by
If you’re a hockey fan you need to check this film out. Sean William Scott is brilliant as the simple but sympathetic bouncer turned hockey fighter Doug Glatt. There’s plenty to like about the film including some great performances from Scott and Liev Schreiber (normally a serious actor but great as the aging legendary fighter Ross Rhea).
As you’d expect, there’s plenty of great one liners as well as stupid moments and while the film is slightly clichéd – loser comes good, good guy gets the girl etc – it’s just simply good fun. The story line is certainly a simple one. Glatt is coasting through life and a pivotal moment in his life presents him with the opportunity to use his one skill in life (fighting) in a new role as a hockey player. He takes his opportunity and runs with it serving as protector for the moody, underperforming French Canadian star on his team. There’s plenty of idiocy along the way and the film naturally draws comparisons with Happy Gilmore and Slap Shot.
The film doesn’t do hockey a disservice either. The actual hockey footage isn’t bad and the fighting (which there is plenty of) is pretty comical. It’s a shame they felt the need to use Georges Laraque in the film but I guess no film can be perfect. There’s a nice underlying theme of how respect in hockey is important in the film; both between players (Rhea and Glatt) and how hockey players don’t walk on their team’s logo – you know Tortorella would have approved.
The film takes a light hearted view at some hockey stereotypes beyond just the ‘goon’, as they take digs at the Canadian accent (try and count the ‘eh’s’) and French Canada’s obsession with itself, not to mention the slightly crazy goaltender type (Bryzgalov would be great in this film). There’s also the grizzled veteran who looks eerily like Jaromir Jagr and the slightly awkward Eastern European players.
Jay Baruchel who was also in Tropic Thunder and Knocked Up (equally stupid but fun comedies) is hilarious as the awkward, slightly rotten and off beat best friend while the film is foul mouthed and really serves up to glorify the goon/enforcer role. It’s just funny, doesn’t take itself seriously and is well worth a two hour trip to the cinema.