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I hadn't read or heard much about Goon before I went to see it; all I'd
seen was the trailer. I didn't even realise that it was based on a true
story. I wasn't expecting it to be that good, but was pleasantly
I was expecting that the funny bits in the trailer were all that would be on offer but the whole film was seeped in that simple (albeit sometimes unnerving) comedy that had the audience laughing out loud often.
Furthermore, beneath the usual humour we've come to expect from Goldberg, there is a much deeper underlying story to it. It was even endearing in parts. OK so 'endearing' isn't the best word to describe a comedy sports film that has as much gore as it has humour, but the way that Seann William Scott portrays Doug really did something of touching my heart, and it was refreshing to see Scott play the role.
Granted it may not clean up at the Oscars, but the story of a guy who really has no idea where he belongs is both hilariously and sweetly told in Goon, with a great relationship conveyed between Doug and his friend - excellently played by Baruchel - who seems to be the only one who believes in him.
Teamed (no pun intended) with the banter generated with the game of hockey and Doug's fellow players, this really makes for a must-see for any sports film fan, or comedy film fan, or indie film fan. There's a love story in there too for the romance fans. Which could potentially give Goon a pretty huge audience. If people ignore the trailer, that is.
Yes the whole story is slightly clichéd, but this film does so much more than the trailer gives it credit for, and deserves the word to be spread that this really is worth a watch.
I must say I was a bit nervous as a Hockey fan about how this movie
would fare in UK. There is a fairly good following but there are still
a lot of people who don't realise that fighting is part of the game and
that 'Goons' actually do play the game.
I thought there were some good laughs, entertaining fights and an overall heartwarming story that for me make this into a very entertaining movie. Yes, the dialogue and jokes are simple and the plot is quite thin but what were we expecting? Too many people expect movies to all be Oscar-contenders and don't see a film for what it is, in this case and entertaining comedy-drama that doesn't take itself even slightly seriously.
I think that if you go to see this movie, you know what you're getting
into. It's essentially a love letter to the violent side of hockey
written by Jay Baruchel and Evan Goldberg, both of whom are known for a
particular kind of comedy, and it stars Seann William Scott, who is
known for playing a particular kind of character. Check out the 'People
who liked this also liked...' section on the page for this movie.
You'll see flicks like The Hangover, Crazy, Stupid Love, and Role
Models. If those are your type of movies, chances are you'll enjoy
The premise of the movie is that a likable, polite, not-exactly-bright bouncer, Doug Glatt, is invited to join a semi-professional hockey team as an enforcer. I think what I chiefly liked about the film was that yes, there's lewd and crude humour and a somewhat predictable plot line, but you'll like the characters and at no point does the movie start to drag or fail to entertain.
I was also pleased to see that, as a Canadian hockey fan myself, I wasn't spoon-fed easy stereotype jokes. The things that were funny hadn't been recycled a hundred times in every other movie that pointedly features Canada as a setting. The characters do drag out the old 'eh' every now and again, but you feel more like it's a wink to Baruchel's home audience rather than something intended to hit you over the head with a 'SEE, we're in CANADA!'
Bottom line: This flick isn't going to win any Oscars. But if you want to see something thoroughly entertaining, it's a good bet. If you don't laugh at least once, you're - probably my grandmother.
I plead ignorance: I have never seen Slap Shot, the holy grail of non-
Mighty Ducks hockey films. When I ventured into the world premiere of
Michael Dowse's Goon over a month ago at the Toronto International Film
Festival, I felt like I missed out on required reading. But while it
may be deeply indebted to the Paul Newman classic, I think Goon still
manages to be unique enough that it works pretty well on its own.
Doug Glatt (Seann William Scott) is a loser. His father and brother are doctors, yet he is stuck as a bouncer in a seedy Orangetown bar. A rather heinous act of self-defense at a local hockey game gets him noticed and brought in to play in the minors as a goon, someone who fights with others and protects his smaller teammates. He does so incredibly well that he is quickly drafted to a semi-professional team in Canada, where his main goal is to protect star player Xavier LaFlamme (Marc-Andre Grondin), who has not played the same since a brutal hit from the legendary Ross 'The Boss' Rhea (Live Schreiber).
Goon is the type of movie that begs not to be taken seriously. If the synopsis was not enough, then the key opening shot, a bloody tooth falling in slow motion over classical music, is an obvious suggestion of the borderline ludicrous film that follows. There is nothing subtle that occurs at all, everything is incredibly blatant and wildly over-the-top (and frequently incredibly gritty and disgusting). The film wears its pride for the sport on its sleeve, and sometimes goes to ridiculous lengths to make sure you always know that. While hockey seems to be an oddly frequent theme in Canadian pictures in the past year or so, this was the first one I saw that had the sport front and centre not simply existing as an underlying theme or plot device.
But what sets it apart from the other Canadian hockey films is its glorification of violence and carnage on ice. Glatt's main objective is to destroy and take out the other players, and everyone around him is constantly stressing that. While we get to witness the struggle he has trying to understand if there will ever be anything more for him, the film still paints him in the corner of always needing to fight, which leads to some horrifically bloody battles. Dowse does not shy away from how violent the sport can be; instead he makes it incredibly gratuitous and takes it dangerously close to the limits of decency. I laughed at how silly the violence became, but I was surprised at just how gory it was in many instances. It will no doubt cause a minor controversy, and I would not be surprised if a lot of people ignore the fact that the film is one of the few to actually deal with the topic head-on.
Goon is also set apart through its rather colourful use of profanity, specifically at the hands of Jay Baruchel's Pat Houlihan. He adapted and co-wrote the script with Seth Rogen's usual writing partner Evan Goldberg , and spices up almost every line with a unique expletive. Some are too overdone for their own good, but others are near perfect. They lead to some rather hysterical one-liners more often than not, and help shape the film around the hockey. I found it particularly amusing that Baruchel gets to be the most vulgar of anyone in the script, allowing him to provide the most laughs and steal scenes from everyone. It also makes the film, at least in my mind, a bit more authentic to the sport itself. It can be family orientated as some films have tried to suggest, but it is much more at ease when it is adult.
If I hold anything against the film (outside of the ending I wanted so much more from), it is that no one is really developed at all. We get to see a few different shades of Scott's Glatt, but no one else in the film changes. They are one-dimensional all around, with some minor throwaway moments that could have been used to better characterize them. It feels like a missed opportunity, even with the short running time, and nearly puts the talented cast to waste. Even Scott himself seems to be having trouble trying to really make something of his character. They all make the most of what they are given, but it seems like the acting must have come a close third to the sensationalizing of hockey and the glorifying of violence.
That said, Scott does a lot better in the role than I want to give him credit for. He is very meek throughout, and is always downplaying the character. He is the complete opposite of Stifler, and shows that he has some range. Schreiber is great as Ross, but he leaves the film for far too many interludes. Same goes for Kim Coates as the head coach of Glatt's team, who never appears on screen for nearly long enough. Sadly, Grondin and Alison Pill, as Glatt's love interest, seem to fare the worst of anyone. They get so very little to do, despite their importance in the film. They just end up looking awkward and out of place more often than not, almost like they do not belong at all.
In the end, there is a lot of fun to be had watching Goon, especially if you really embrace the ridiculousness of it all. It is a really silly film, but manages to be enjoyable even with the massive flaws that plague it. With a little more work, it could have been one of the best sports movies ever. Instead, it will have to contend with being the best among a long string of Canadian hockey movies that will hopefully end sooner rather than later.
There is one element that distinguishes a "great" sports movie from a
"good" sports movie. It's "the feel". It doesn't matter if the movie is
about baseball, basketball, football or hockey. If it doesn't smack of
authenticity you might as well flip over to a live game. "The Natural"
had the feel of baseball and for hockey "Slapshot" has always been the
template for the great hockey movie. I happily add "Goon" to that
As far as movie making goes, it has all the right stuff. The acting is convincing and solid, the jokes are funny and there is lots of on-ice action. But the defining feature of this film is that it feels real. It feels like these are real guys playing a real game in front of real fans. True hockey fans will get the in jokes, wince at the ankle injury, relate to the dressing room banter, and feel tempted to yell "head's up" when the bad guy starts to take a run at the little guy.
The key scene is, of course, the final showdown between "good goon" and "bad goon". We know it's coming, but sometimes we know the NHL fights are inevitable, as the tough guys line up before the face-off and start jabbering. The build-up is just as visceral in "Goon", and when they finally drop the gloves it reminded me of that great final shoot-out scene in "The Good, The Bad and the Ugly", as the guys do the pre-fight strip tease and wait for other to draw first.
I will risk the wrath of my fellow hockey fans who have grown up worshipping at the church of "Slapshot". It was a great movie, although a bit long. I found "Goon" to be more entertaining, as authentic and more believable. Nice work guys!
'Goon' revolves around a very simple idea that a lovable but stupid
nobody gets a chance at becoming an ice hockey champion because of his
very powerful fists. Cue some of the most incredibly violent,
unnecessary fight scenes seen in cinema for a long time. It makes a
Quentin Tarantino film look normal! However, If you buy the idea,
despite the familiar and predictable narrative, you will leave the
cinema with a big grin on your face; At heart, 'Goon' is just another
Indie feel-good comedy.
Written by Jay Baruchel (also starring) and Evan Goldberg (the man to thank for 'Superbad' & 'Pineapple Express'), the words come to life on screen and audiences should delight in some incredibly amusing one-liners (watch out for the foul-mouthed Baruchel) but also be engaged in the kind hearted and naive Sean William-Scott. You will realise after a while that the pacing of the film is unorthodox as it doesn't focus on the story of the ice hockey team, rather than the 'Goon' himself. This shows a focus which is integral to the film's unique quality and it often takes many unexpected turns as far as typical narratives go. The Goon is the heart of this film and has many redeeming features. This softer approach to a predictably comic performance from William-Scott and the introduction of a possible love story between him and Alison Pill's character (also giving her best shot in this picture) are what elevates the film to a level most comedy's fail to reach.
Having said that, this film is no 'Juno' or '(500) Days Of Summer'. It mixes the soft, charming and comedic elements with often harsh truths and big fights. There is blood, lost teeth, broken bones and sliced ankles throughout. Never has there been such realistic sounding punches! However, in the end, 'Goon' proves that you don't need a film crammed full of laughs to make a good comedy. It has charm, honesty, some very big fights, some very funny moments and an undeniably uplifting, feel-good ending which makes it just that cut above your average 'dumb' comedy.
I wasn't expecting the bloodshed in an otherwise heartfelt and
appeasing movie which would be remembered for the astonishing, rather
absorbing performance by Sean William Scott more than anything else. I
should admit, haven't yet got the hang of Ice hockey and the fighting
thing. But the sportiness and the spirit of the protagonist did rush my
ante up - now that's not uncommon with Sport movies. But something's
different about this one, Doug Glatt & his 69 wouldn't be that easy to
forget coz he's too simple, stupid and darn crazy when he's a team guy.
With some good laughs, a love affair and a tough antagonist, it might sound quite clichéd. Yet you would never feel tedious, rather you feel for the rawness and emptiness Doug Glatt is going through. His blending with the team, the crush he develops for the girl, the way he pushes out the baddies from cornering Laflamme, and the final wait for fighting the evil legend is all knitted very well. The background score keeps the tempo intact. Some of the scenes and circumstances needed much detail, it never went over board being too dramatic. For instance, the climax was a bit ragged and missed out some emotional values. Sean William Scott deserves special mention, he sheds all his typecast personas and have acted the character of Doug Glatt with all his heart. Thank God, he isn't just "Steve Stifler" anymore.
Goon is a feel good movie which is simple yet compelling and a bit too bloody for a sports movie. Loved it.
One of my all-time favorite comedies is Slap Shot, so I had at least a
marginal interest in seeing Goon. After reading a recent interview with
Baruchel in the Vancouver Sun, the movie sounded like it just might
have the heart to carry the flame that Slap Shot lit. Sure, no
question, Goon comes off as somewhat of an homage, but it's done right,
not overtly, balancing the necessary brutality and tastelessness with
just enough sweetness. Which is a hell of a lot more than I can say for
that pitiful attempt at a Slap Shot sequel.
I'm also not usually a fan of Seann William Scott's typecast everybrah, but his portrayal of Dougie Glatt as a soft-spoken and polite bruiser really is charming. The movie's not without its flaws: Sure, Baruchel's character is irritating and barely necessary, and Eugene Levy is tragically underused, and the subplot with the love interest is kinda out-of-place, but I overlooked those things because the meat of the movie is gold. The comedy is solid, the teammate/coach characters are amazing, and the film's sheer love of the game really, really shines through.
So my recommendation is ya pick up a twelve of Moosehead, throw on your old Chiefs jersey, and hunker down for a lot of laughs.
If you are looking for a realistic Hockey of Today Film.Then this ain't it. Are you looking for a FUN Hockey Film that might take some liberties? Then this is a Film for you. If you can suspend your knowledge of Ice Hockey, Yes even Minor League Hockey then this Film is a Blast.I thought it was The Best Hockey Film since Slapshot.Got some Good Acting,GREAT Fight Scenes and some Laughs too. If you are a REAL Hockey Fan you'll love it.Goon shows The Tough Side of Hockey and it's not so afraid to fight side. Yes there's Fighting in Hockey. Yes some players are hired on as Fighters. It's part of Hockey and Goon shows you this side of The Game..
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
In a very short summary, this has got to be the best tongue in cheek comedy for a very long time because its not all about a dumb hockey player there is heart in there, ambition and best of all, love. Cheesy I know, tell me about it. As a non spoiler synopsis, the movie is about a family outcast, Doug 'goon' Glatt who is superb with his fists and is recruited to play hockey but only to be on ice fist. His soon to be ex hero, Ross Rhea is also good with his fists and a is a famous on pitch trouble maker. The film follows Doug through many games with plenty of punch throwing intertwined and also inevitably leads to a head to battle between Rhea and Glatt. In the end this is a massively underestimated movie and deserves more to be honest. Watch it you will not be disappointed.
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