By: Henry J. Fromage (Two Beers) -
A gritty loser semipro hockey team attempts to win a championship to stave off shut down and sold off.
Slap Shot is a love letter to hockey, although sometimes it’s tough to tell if there isn’t some passive-aggressive hatred involved as well. It’s also one of the funniest (and filthiest) sports comedies every made.
Pop open a beer, preferably a nice, gritty blue-collar one like PBR to this film. Asshouse would be going too far.
Now with real grit!
The humor is in-your-face and inappropriate and Paul Newman is delightfully both of those in what he called his favorite role of his career. The movie is full of ridiculous and freakin sweet characters such as the Hanson Brothers, who are just plain bizarre, kind of like Bubbles from Trailer Park Boys cloned himself and the process made him hyper-violent.
He has murder in his eyes
Speaking of violence… Slap Shot is in love with it. Almost all of the hockey action is hockey fighting. There may be three goals scored total in the whole movie and as far as I can tell, games are won by punching.
This is awesome.
What keeps Slap Shot from pure greatness is the director and screenwriter’s attempt to make this movie mean something. You can get all the feeling you need out of bad teams and washed up veterans making good and even the inevitable romantic subplot isn’t too bad. Building up to the end, though, a lot of time is spent bemoaning the loss of “good, old-time hockey” which ironically enough in the 70s did NOT mean hard-assed, fighting and checking hockey.
Something like this, probably
“Old-time hockey” is presented as the way hockey should be, but then the movie goes and glorifies ultra-violent hockey to the point that it’s the only way Newman’s team gets to the championship in the first place. So what was your point, then?
Watch it. Paul Newman, hockey fights, dirty jokes, underdog story… what’s not to like?
Bonus Drinking Game
Take a Drink: every time somebody gets hit
Take a Drink: every time Newman says something dirty
Drink a Shot: every time a goal is scored