Goon (Review)

GoonLast year 2 Guns showed what kids that grew up on Pulp Fiction and John Woo films could create, Goon is an example of the output of children raised on Major League.

Unlike 2 Guns though this film isn’t as expectedly average…

When bouncer Doug Glatt (Sean William Scott) takes his fistular abilities – he can punch guys real good – and secures a gig as a skate-thug in Canadian minor league ice hockey, he joins a ragtag bunch of wasted talents, earnest never-will-be’s and fading once-was’s on the way back to obscurity.

However this awkward skating hired assassin proves himself as an extremely competent hard man, and is quickly elevated to act as the personal on-ice escort for a talented Frenchman named ‘La Flemme’, a lad with all the skill and flair to make it big, held back due to a lack of courage and heart.

Of course Doug doesn’t let his flaws and deficiencies hold him back. His fists and hits get him noticed on the ice, and his sincerity, commitment and ‘aw shucks urban hayseed’ demeanour gain fans off it.

Sean William Scott shows why he is still is the only American Pie alum to carve out a career for himself away from the franchise (hint: all of his pie-boning co stars are talentless morons) as the likable Doug who maintains that regardless of what his day job entails, it’s still just his job.

Jay Baruchel steals scenes as Pat, Doug’s longtime friend and an insanely passionate hockey fan. Alison Pill is Eva, another fan of hockey violence who catches Doug’s eye. And Liev Schrieber is Ross Rhea, another tough nut at the other end of his career, the man who Doug must face on the team that Doug’s team needs to beat if they are to make the playoffs.

While the plot framework follows the Major League template to a ‘t’; the grizzled veterans, the cocky rookie, the profane coach, the over-zealous broadcaster, the noisy opinionated fans; the film isn’t so much about the sport of ice hockey as it is the violence that apparently provides it with much of the sport’s allure. This means that there aren’t as many hockey highlights as there are those of the fisticuffs variety. And again the film is unflinching.

Blood sprays liberally. Teeth are dislodged. Faces are mashed against the boardings and heads against the ice. The film definitely deserves credit for not downplaying the thuggery and cheap shots, and also for the constant stream of profanity that is directed at the players by both opponents and fans alike.

Of course these are also reasons as to why this very good film failed to find an audience.
Goon might be a patent replica of the immortal Major League, but it is far from an unnecessary one.

Final Rating – 7.5 / 10. Once again a film about a sport I could care less about proves just how exciting and compelling sport can be – or in this case how effective sports violence can be.

About OGR

While I try to throw a joke or two into proceedings when I can all of the opinions presented in my reviews are genuine. I don't expect that all will agree with my thoughts at all times nor would it be any fun if you did, so don't be shy in telling me where you think I went wrong... and hopefully if you think I got it right for once. Don't be shy, half the fun is in the conversation after the movie.
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