Goon – 3/5 Movie Reviews by Ry!

Goon – 3/5 – Sports films; they always have a heartfelt feeling to them.  These kinds of films bring inspiration to the limelight, but do it in a good hearty way.  That is not the case with this movie.  Sure, it has sports elements and something of an inspirational theme, but it does it with lots of vulgarity and lots of brutal fights.  The good thing is, it does all this in a dark comical way, and for some slowness and sub-par characters, hits a true core in entertaining throughout the film.

Goon stars Sean William Scott, who is labeled an outcast by his brainy family.  He is a bouncer, who gets noticed by a local hockey team as some kind of fighting goon, but can inspire the crowd.  Being brought on the team, and eventually sent up to a higher league, this former bouncer overcomes long odds to lead a team of underperforming misfits to semi-pro hockey glory.  Along the way, he continues to beat the crap out of everything that stands in his way.  Mr. Scott does a decent job as the bouncer with no future, named Doug Glatt.  Once noticed for his fighting, he begins to learn that he is more than just that bouncer.  He sees a team that needs to be inspired and he can provide that inspiration.  There isn’t anything special in his acting, but his subtle attitude and posturing provides comical ploys in certain situations throughout that will just make you laugh.  Jay Baruchel plays his friend Pat, Marc-Andre Grondin plays the down and out companion player Xavier LaFlamme, and Liev Schreiber plays his rival in Ross Rhea.  All three do swell jobs in complimenting the main character, providing some slight debt to the story and Glatt’s history.  At the same time, they are pretty cliché in their roles, playing the standard childhood buddy (pat) a flamed out player who needs a shot in the arm (LaFlame) and a rival of equal talent (Rhea).   One thing that is obvious was the predictability of each of those side character stories, as they ended up where you guess they would at the end of the film.

Like I said before, this is a sports movie, so it has a lot of inspirational elements.  It delves into the traditional ‘support the underdog’ theme, and does it in one of the big four sports of America (hockey).  One thing that is portrayed vividly alongside these elements is the vulgarity and brutality of what can be associated with the fighting.  The glorifying of the fights might seem a little shameful, but it was pretty hardcore, and because of this vividness, it kept the heart of the film at its core.  That irony makes the film very vivid and kept pulling you in after a very sporadic prologue in the beginning of the film.

The direction was very linear with the main character.  You pretty much saw the obvious, and guessed he was going to ultimately triumph in the end, like all sports movie.   A lot of the great elements of the film came from the witty dialogue between the misfits of hockey players.  The interactions between these players were not very family friendly, but were hilarious with its adult styled themes.  You see dark comedy elements, as well as dramatic elements with the main character’s association with his parents and some estrange love from the middle of the film, but all these attachments just fall as standard plot devices.  These interactions become just another side element that wasn’t important to the main portion of the film, and kind of brings down the excitement of the film.

Goon is a decent film with funny moments and witty dialogue at times.  What brings the movie down was its very predictable film, which dwindles to just being a standard entertaining sports flick, sprinkled with a lot of profanity.  Decent rental, maybe buy on DVD for your collection of sports films.

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