Review: Goon (2011)

Directed by: Michael Dowse
Written by: Jay Baruchel & Evan Goldberg

Based on a book by Doug Smith & Adam Frattasio

Here is a movie you might not have heard of if you’re like me. The fact is that the first time I ever heard of this movie was when I found it On Demand on the Scandinavian Viaplay-site. However, I do believe the target audience has heard of it. Here is a story of how a simple bouncer becomes a minor-league Hocker Enforcer. Seann William Scott stars as Doug Glatt in a movie that is able to satisfy every audience, or at least that’s what I believe. It’s manly enough for those Hockey fans with a healthy interest in movies, and yet I think it might work with women too. Doug isn’t smart, Doug doesn’t have the life that his family wants – and he’s not really good at Hockey, an understatement perhaps. But he’s good at fighting, and that really is the set-up for this movie, which also stars Eugene Levy, Liev Schreiber, Allison Pill & Jay Baruchel.

Definitely not a bad cast, and it does work to some extent. But, at certain points in this movie, clichés take over. We have our Russian pair of strange, and at times weird, hockey players – that really do some nasty things; we have the stereotypical Captain, who’s old, going through a divorce – and who’s drinking a lot. The Captain is paired with another cliché; a young hockey player who copies the Captain at length; a true sidekick to the Captain.

The movie finds its heart when revolving around two of Doug’s relationships, his relationship with the former Hockey Talent Xavier LaFlamme & especially his relationship with Eva, played by Allison Pill. The latter relationship is what I believe will help the female audience like this movie, not because she’s a sweet sensitive girl, because she isn’t; but because she is her own type, not stereotypical – and interesting to watch go through various stages of this movie.

Let’s talk about the casting choices, some I agree with and some I… Really don’t, for personal reasons. First off, I didn’t expect S. W. Scott to play this sort of character – I expected him to be more… “Stifler”, sorry Seann. But that’s not necessarily bad if you ask me. He is able to do something more than just his typical performance. He isn’t just “Stifler” from American Pie or “Travis” from Welcome to the Jungle. And don’t expect a Mr. Woodcock-like performance either. This is different, and some might argue it’s better. I like what S. W. Scott does, and I’m satisfied with him as Doug Glatt.

This takes us to the rest of the cast. I like Allison Pill, I really do, so I have no problem with her performance. I do, however, have a problem with Liev Schreiber, Eugene Levy and Jay Baruchel. Don’t get me wrong, these are good actors, but Liev just doesn’t work for me in this movie – and I’d have preferred someone else to play Ross Rhea. Baruchel’s character is annoying if you ask me, not funny, just annoying – it might not be Baruchel’s problem, it might be just a badly written character. Then we have Eugene Levy, and sorry Levy but I just don’t see you as Doug’s father – and that is 100% only because you played Jim’s father in American Pie. Sorry, Eugene, but it didn’t feel natural to me because of that – but that’s my problem.

Final Grade: 7.5 out of 10. Enjoyable feel-good-movie.

– I’m Jeffrey Rex.

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