Movie Review – Goon (2011)

Director: Michael Dowse

Stars: Seann William Scott, Jay Baruchel, Alison Pill, Liev Schreiber, Marc-André Grondin

Goon is the story of Doug Glatt (Scott), a bouncer who doesn’t feel like he fits in anywhere. After he gets into a fight at a hockey game the coach sees something in him and recruits him to be a goon; a player that is there just to fight rather than actually play hockey. He moves to another team and tries to rally the band of misfits to glory, all the while a battle between him and the legendary hardman Ross Rhea (Schreiber) is looming.

I remember the trailers when this first came out and I assumed it would be a simple dumb comedy with gross-out gags and outrageous situations. After watching it I can say that I’m really surprised. The humour was more subtle than I imagined and it has what a lot of films lack – heart.

Scott was very earnest in the lead role and although the character was a violent man it wasn’t borne from a dark and malignant soul, rather it was the only thing he did well and people actually responded to it. As a result the lead character was incredibly sympathetic and we’re continually rooting for him to succeed in every aspect of his life, especially after we witness shameful treatment by his parents.

But it’s also in how he interacts with other people and actually makes them better. The romantic subplot is sweet but it’s really his relationship with the fallen golden boy LaFlamme (Grondin) that caught my attention. Another good relationship was with Rhea, as the two characters were two sides of the same coin. Schreiber didn’t have much screentime but managed to inject his character with some pathos, and I would have liked to have seen Rhea and Doug share more scenes together as it seemed as though they shared an understanding about each other’s nature that no-one else really did.

Now, let’s be honest, I’m not saying this is the best film ever or anything but it’s good at what it does. There’s a bit of sports action as well so I think it will appeal to those who likes comedy and sports films. Some of the violence is graphic though, and there is a lot of blood. It’s not a must-watch but it is worth watching if you get a chance.

 

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