Goon (2011)

Release date: January 6, 2012
Director: Michael Dowse
Book by: Adam Frattasio, Doug Smith
Screenplay by: Jay Baruchel, Evan Goldberg
Cast: Seann William Scott, Liev Schreiber, Alison Pill, Marc-André Grondin, Jay Baruchel, Eugene Levy

I usually really REALLY hate Seann William Scott on screen, and I usually don’t watch many sport films — specially about hockey. My roommate and I got into a “philosophical” discussion between Latin American passion for football and Canadian passion for hockey [1]. We just… didn’t get each other. LOL

So a movie like Goon is probably the most surprising movie pick for me. In it, Seann William Scott plays Doug Glatt, a Jewish bouncer who isn’t so bright and has disappointed his father (Eugene Levy) for not following in his medical footsteps.

In a hilarious on-air phone conversation, in which Doug is trying to explain why corn dogs are better than hot dogs, he gets offered the chance to become an enforcer for a local hockey team, to the excitement of his best pal Ryan (Baruchel). Trying to find his thing, and following his new found path, he gets recruited by a Canadian team in Nova Scotia. While there, he is to protect their old star player Xavier Laflamme (Grondin), who is on a self-destructive path of drugs and herpes, after getting smashed by Ross Rhea (Schreiber)… an old-school enforcer on his way to retirement.

The hockey scenes are brutal… I’m not really accustomed to this amount of violence in sports, but I guess things were exaggerated a bit in the film for graphical purposes. The slo-mo blood splatter with the flying tooth is very stylish, I must admit. However, the biggest selling point in Goon is surprisingly the mix of the stylish action violence with the comedy, and the bit of heart. This isn’t an inspiring movie about underdogs. Doug is good at what he does, but his character does struggle a bit with the acceptance of his father — even if it’s just scratching the surface — but he also struggles with his team and the relationship with his moody Québécois teammate/roommate Laflamme, which results in a hilarious ET metaphor right there.

That’s the thing right there, Goon is pretty funny — Seann William Scott is pretty darn funny in a non-Stiffler way and is quite endearing at times, especially when he’s trying to get together with Alison Pill’s character in a priceless garbage bag scene.

So Doug Glatt — “Glatt is Hebrew for f*ck you” — doesn’t really have a character arc, but it’s through him that the whole film changes. Every character that needs changing changes through their interactions with Doug and those interactions (and one-liners) make Goon what it is. A quite violent, foul-mouthed sport dramedy.

Rating: ★★★½☆ 

amy

YAM Magazine editor, photographer, blogger, translator and part-time web designer. Film junkie, music junkie… and lately series (a.k.a. TV) junkie.

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