Sunday, April 1, 2012


Goon tells the true-ish story of a bar bouncer who became a popular minor league hockey player simply because he could fight. And that’s all the movie is about, really. There are no back stories or side tracks, no wasted plot lines or failed relationships, Goon is literally about a guy who went from nothing to something because he could beat the shit out of people.  Normally, I wouldn’t pay a movie like this the time of day, but when you’re handed a film that has no hesitation owning up to what it is (and never pretends to be something it’s not), then you have the potential to have a damn fine time watching it.

As the dopey, moronic, insanely kind Doug Glatt, Seann William Scott delivers by far the best performance of his career. Doug is the kind of guy who asks if it’s all right to punch you in the face before he punches you in the face. He’s a goddamn glorious moron, and, best of all, he’s completely aware of his limited knowledge.

So when Doug ends up beating the shit of a hockey player who was participating in a game Doug was watching from the stands, our loveable nimrod gains instant notoriety.
Soon he’s playing on some low level scum team, then in the minor leagues. Now, mind you, Doug cannot play hockey. Hell, he can’t even skate. But when there’s a guy on the other team that needs a beating, the coach sends Doug in, a few punches are thrown, and lights out.

Sure, Doug falls for a spacey, alcohol-loving girl (Alison Pill), a subplot that adds virtually nothing to the film’s story, but doesn’t necessarily take anything away either. And sure, time is spent on Doug’s family, which is comprised of his pretentious doctor dad (Eugene Levy, remarkably restrained), and his supportive gay brother. And sure, the film is distracted by Doug's loud, obnoxious, can’t-stop-making-sexual-references best friend (co-writer Jay Baruchel, who’s acting is the only real fault of the film), but none of that stops the movie from being fun.
The film does get a little ploty toward the end, when it is made clear that Doug will soon stand stake to skate with Ross Rhea (a fantastically campy Liev Schreiber), who currently serves as the league’s heaviest hitter, but by that point, adding a little plot to the mix doesn’t hurt anything.

Goon is perfectly decent sports comedy that aims to be nothing more than a perfectly decent sports comedy. It may be absurd, but it knows it’s absurd. It’s 92 minutes long and I can all but guarantee you’ll enjoy most every one of them. B+

Here's the man that inspired the film, Doug Smith, in action:


  1. A very funny and heartfelt flick that not only supplies plenty of blood, but also plenty of sweet moments as well that may cut you off guard at first. This is also a great performance from Seann William Scott who seems to be anti-Stifler, and what a better time for this to come out then in the week before the big reunion! Great review Alex.

  2. @Dan O. ha I couldn't agree more about Scott. The whole time I was watching GOON, I was thinking, "And yet he's going to subject himself to the stupidity that is Stifler next week? But...why?"

  3. Great review! I probably won't be watching it since the only moment I ever liked Scott was when in one part of American Pie movies he went into the auditorium started talking to another student about some pointless shit and then a professor walked in and told them to take out the tests and pens and Scott went "We have an exam today?" - it just felt so familiar :) But I am tempted to see this one since I love Alison Pill :)

  4. @Sati. Make no mistake: I consider Scott a no talent hack, but he does solid word here. The dude isn't going to win (or be nominated for) any awards, but it's nobel work.

    Oh if you like Alison Pill, I think you'd like her stuff here, she's pretty funny. Have you seen the second season of the HBO show In Treatment? She was remarkable in that.

  5. I have not seen In Treatment but I always planned to, with Mad Men and Game of Thrones back I will probably have time to see it during summer, but I will definetly check it out evenetually. I didn't even know she was in it.

  6. @Sati. Yup, but only the second season. She's in Pieces of April too... so funny (and purposefully annoying) in that.

  7. Definitely want to see this. Looks pretty funny and it has a great cast. Always nice to see Kim Coates.

  8. @Ty I think you'll dig it man! It was a total blast.