Goon is the brainchild of Evan Goldberg and Jay Baruchel, who loosely translated the book, Goon: The True Story of an Unlikely Journey into Minor League Hockey, to the big screen. The movie also happens to be the comeback film for Seann William Scott, who hasn’t been in a significant movie in almost half a decade. All of these factors in a hockey movie are an awesome idea and thankfully with proper execution the movie succeeds on most fronts.
Goon tells the story of Doug Glatt, who is a down on his luck bouncer at a bar in Massachusetts. One night while at a local minor league hockey game, a player jumps in the stands and tries to fight Doug’s friend and Doug knocks him out. He shows amazing promise as an enforcer and is tasked with protecting the team’s most valuable player. He begins to realize that this is what he was destined to do and from there on out the movie is a whirlwind of fights, blood, hockey, and Canadian beer.
Worst. Threesome. Ever
To the reemergence of Seann William Scott, because it seems like he has been gone for a very long time. He is able to carry the movie on his shoulders for both the comedic side and dramatic side of the movie. He plays his character very straight and the way he awkwardly interacts with people is both endearing and hilarious throughout the film. This is his best work since American Wedding, all the way back in 2003.
His funniest role ever and he is only in the movie for 5 minutes.
That is a huge gap between successful appearances but at least his performance in Goon more than makes up for the lack of quality performances. Liev Schreiber plays a rival enforcer on another team and provides a more serious, almost epic presence which offsets some of the lesser performances (Jay Baruchel’s foul-mouthed WWF/Gangsta Rap/Jewish kid mashup comes to mind) scattered throughout the movie.
Liev Schreiber, continuing the saga of Wolverine’s brother
The fights are the main attraction in the movie and they deliver on all fronts. Watching people getting brutalized on the ice is more enjoyable than it should be and caters to both the comedic and sports sides of the movie. Good hockey movies are also fairly rare so this movie was pretty much the perfect hockey movie overall.
Kim Coates and Jay Baruchel are normally my favorite parts in whatever they are acting in but this was the one exception. Coates hams it up as a minor league hockey coach and seems to be sleepwalking through most of his scenes while Baruchel plays up the Boston accent just a little too much. He did a fantastic job writing the movie but should have really toned down the accent and attitude slightly because he becomes grating after a while.
Glatt’s story is also embodies everything that is great about sports and general because you really have no idea who could be good at a certain position. It was great to see a normal guy get to discover this ability and talent that he had when everyone was telling him that he was pretty much worthless.
This movie has more heart than 99% of sports movies and also brought back Seann William Scott from the hold of mediocrity. Hollywood needs to really start doing more sports movies that focus on character rather than spectacle. Quality flick.
Bonus Drinking Game
Take a Drink: every time someone looses a tooth during a fight.
Take a Drink: whenever Doug knocks someone out.
Take a Drink: for every check into the boards
Take a Drink: for every dick joke
Take a Drink: every time you regret seeing X-Men Origins: Wolverine when looking at Liev Schreiber.
Drink a Shot: for every Canadian TV reference or cameo
Stick around for the credits and see some vintage footage of the bruiser this film is based on.