Goon: Everything you wanted in a hockey movie…and dumb as puck.

Goon – 2011

Directed by Michael Dowse
Starring Sean William Scott, Liev Schreiber, Jay Baruchel, Marc-Andre Grondin, Alison Pill, Eugene Levy, David Paetkau, Kim Coates, The Trailer Park Boys
Screenplay by  Baruchel and Evan Goldberg

So many curse words, so many curse words.  Don’t watch this one with Grandma, or anyone who has become a Grandma, or plans to become a Grandma.  I don’t like hockey.  It’s hard to track and low scoring.  But there are fights to look forward to.  Why watch the game though, when you are forced to see the highlights on ESPN in place of stuff you want to see, like, well, WNBA?

This movie skips all the boring crap and heads right to what most red-blooded folks want to see.  All the blood on the ice.  All of the insults.  All of the dumb fans and players.

For the first hour, we are graced with the gruesome visage of Liev Schreiber, who as Ross “The Boss” Rhea, seems to get cooler with age.  He is a hockey thug who has gotten old and therefore, more violent.  As he is suspended and then demoted, we see the “rising” star of Sean William Scott as Doug Glatt, bouncer turned goon.  Glatt is kind of dumb, but really pretty nice.  His best friend is Pat, an extremely annoying Baruchel, who even as co-writer of his own words, manages to erase all the charisma he has accumulated in the last 5 years.

The movie rolls along, somewhere between Major League and Bull Durham.  He is assigned watch duty of a hotshot player named LaFlamme, who regressed in a major way the moment he got his bell rung by The Boss.  This moves along about like you would expect, with a little nuance and a lot of blood.

There is a lesser subplot involving Glatt and a girl, Eva (Pill) who tells us how bad she is, without really showing us.  Sarandon she is not.

The key, though, is the meeting between Rhea and Glatt.  Rhea wears his experience like a weary badge.  He has a head to head with him about half way through that leaves one salivating for conclusion.  Schreiber plays his role like the pro he is.  Every motion executed flawlessly,  he is an expert supporting actor whodeveloped this character for years.  The movie is worth watching for him, if no other reason.

The rest of it, well it is not that bad. In the script, I expected more out of Goldberg, if not Baruchel.  I certainly did not expect much out of Dowse, who directed the sublimely awful Take Me Home Tonight last.   I expected him to bagging groceries after that one.  It’s not so much that he directed a masterpiece, but rather he let the talent (Schreiber, and to a lesser extent, Scott) take him to a .500 record.

(*** out of *****)


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