Goon is a surprise of a film. When you seen the poster and Seann William Scott’s face plastered on it you think you know exactly what you are in for. This, however isn’t the case as we don’t have a Seann William Scott in his typical Stiffler form. Yes, he’s still a social outcast but this time his character, Doug Glatt, is less brash, less mouthy. In fact he’s actually quite sweet and mild mannered which makes it all the more ridiculous that he finds his path in life as an Ice Hockey Team enforcer, a Goon. His only role on the team is to intimidate other “hard men” to allow his more eloquent and skillful teammates to shine.
A freak incident at a local ice hockey game introduces the world to Doug’s unique abilities; an away team player decides to try to beat up an abusive crowd member (Doug’s best mate the mouthy Pat played by Jay Baruchel) but fails miserably as Doug gets in the way and wastes him completely. And so begins the journey. He is invited to try out for the local hockey team, The Highlanders, who are a team in much disarray. Bickering and in-fighting, talented but lacking drive or confidence or having a multitude of other issues.
There is only one real issue to this: Doug can’t skate at all. But that doesn’t matter as boy can he fight!
As time goes on we introduce a love interest, the hockey groupie Eva (Alison Pill), and a legendary goon, Ross “The Boss” Rhea played superbly by the ever impressive Liev Schreiber, the notorious hard man of the game reaching the end of his career and feeling the pressure to fight this newcomer, this upstart who has taken the league by storm. Can you tell what’s going to happen at the big finale yet?
Yes, it isn’t a particularly deep or inventive storyline but I found it hugely entertaining and well worth watching as Scott’s Doug “The Thug” Glatt becomes the teams MVP, the beating heart and soul of this rag tag bunch of abusive, but actually caring, team.
Think of it like The Waterboy on ice, but with a bit more heart and less crassness. But that comparison is doing this film an injustice really. It is a Cinderella story without compare, but also a great story about finding yourself and your place and for Doug, forever maligned in his family, being a Goon and protecting his fellow team mates is where he belongs. It is certainly a welcome change from Seann William Scott’s usual role of idiot and mega-mouth. It is a highly watchable, action-comedy and has a surprising amount of substance.
I have also just found out that there is a sequel too (Yey!), which has just been released but in Canada only (Boo!).