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Slap Shots and Misses.

5/10
Author: Python Hyena from Canada
6 October 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Goon (2011): Dir: Michael Dowse / Cast: Seann William Scott, Liev Schreiber, Jay Baruchel, Alison Pill, Eugene Levy: Doug "the Thug" Glatt has been a fighter all his life. He is a bouncer, and despite not being the smartest kid on the block, he likes to protect others. His ability is put to great use when a coach witnesses him pound the oblivion out of a hockey player out to attack his gay brother. He is recruited but not as a hockey player, but as a fighter. This is an independent Canadian film addressing the violence in hockey, but its chief problem is its exploiting the issue. The setup has potential before descending to predictable formula and an ending where it is obvious that Glatt will face off for a brutal encounter with rival player Ross "the Boss" Rhea. Director Michael Dowse uses slow motion to capture the extremes of the violence but the screenplay seems to address it as positive. Seann William Scott gives an honest, sound and very amusing portrayal of a guy who only knows his strength but fails to factor in its consequences. He is backed by a parade of cardboard supporting roles that have the mentality of a hockey puck. Liev Schreiber as Rhea is a predictable ice bully whose fate is obvious from the first time Glatt lays eyes on him on TV. Jay Baruchel as Glatt's gay brother is more an annoyance, and Alison Pill as girlfriend Eva who is torn between Glatt and her current boyfriend, deserves better material. Eugene Levy plays Scott's less than enthusiastic father in terms of his choices in life. The message is there but the payoff seems to have been met with a slap shot. Score: 5 ½ / 10

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An Inspiring Comedy

7/10
Author: TheFunkyBass from United States
13 May 2015

Sean Willian Scott is a hockey newcomer in this comedy written and produced by Jay Baruchel. The jokes weren't that funny but you cared for the protagonist and wanted to know how it turned out. The funniest parts of the movie were Jay's character, he should've been in the movie more.

Sean Willian Scott was perfectly cast as the nice guy who can beat the sh*t out of you. They didn't waste time introducing the character into the biz. It's really inspiring how much blood and determination Doug puts out on the field when he is playing.

The romantic relationship between Doug and Eva felt really unnecessary, I feel like that was the low point of the movie. Though I think letting Eva's ex beat him was the most honorable thing a man can do and I've probably haven't seen in a movie. It really builds the character development of Doug.

7/10

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Brutal but sweet, how can that be?

8/10
Author: jenseeli
12 April 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I watched this film because I like hockey and I heard it was a good story. Both points turned out to be true. However, the fight scenes are a little too gory for me: lots of blood and teeth and sound effects. Also the characters are just as crude and foul-mouthed as the stereotype. Hardly a line of dialog without an f word and a reference to penises, gays, and/or sex. If you know what you're getting into, then you may be able to see the really sweet story of Doug Glatt and his team, the Halifax Highlanders.

So, Doug is not too bright, but he has firm ideas of the right thing to do. He is working as a bouncer in a bar when the film opens, hanging out with his best friend who has a sort of amateur hockey talk show. One night at a local team's game, an opposing team's player climbs into the crowd to fight with Doug's friend and Doug knocks him around. The coach of the local team invites him to join the team, to be a goon and protect the other players. Doug can't even skate, but he wants to belong. It isn't long before he gets sent up to Halifax to play in a Canadian league and that's where most of the story takes place.

Doug's teammates are the usual band of misfits: the alcoholic old dog who is going through a divorce, the young earnest but not very good guy, the phenom who was injured in a NHl game and is trying to get his groove back, etc. They don't know how to be a team and they are terrible on the ice. It takes the open-hearted honesty of Doug the Thug to mold them into winners. And some fights, of course. By the way, there is also a love- interest in Eva. I'm not convinced she adds anything to the story but the scenes between Doug and Eva are mostly cute. "You make me want to stop sleeping with lots of guys" is not a great line, but it kind of works.

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Entertaining Homage to Hockey Goons

7/10
Author: Jonathan C
18 February 2015

For those of you looking for a high-class, well-nuanced dramatic presentation, Goon is probably not for you. However, it is very funny and has a lot of heart in unexpected places, so is well worth a view for someone who likes sports movies and (extremely) vulgar comedy.

The story revolves around Doug, a bouncer at an Ontario bar who one day beats up a hockey player at a minor league game who crawls into the stands to take out a fan. The performance is noticed by the home hockey coach, who invites him to a tryout. Doug can't even skate, but he is the toughest son-of-a-gun on the planet and is soon hired by the team to take out enemy goons. The movie traces Doug's remarkable and extremely tacky career as a hockey enforcer, up to a showdown with a famous bully from a rival team.

This movie inevitably draws comparisons to Slap Shot, to which it is clearly indebted, but actually has a different slant than its predecessor. Slap Shot was an homage to teams like the 70s Flyers, who played a new rough and tumble style but whose players were still hockey players. Goon, by contrast, pays homage to a phenomenon of the 80s and 90s, single players hired by teams specifically to fight and do little else. Guys like Bob Probert, Chris Nilan, Derek Boogarde and others could barely play hockey, but made a very tough living being the body-guards of the skill players. Doug from Goon clearly plays that role.

The movie gets a lot of comedic mileage out of the fact that these goons have no talent in the conventional sense; Doug is neither smart nor skilled, and we laugh at him because he is clear mockery of any sort of sporting ideal. Beyond that, he occupies a world that is so tacky that it is simply hilarious; the movie is at its best when it lovingly makes fun of the amazingly vulgar world of the minor-league hockey player. Doug is very sympathetic, however, because he is tough as nails and willing to take a nasty one for his teammate, and in the end it is this quality that ends up turning the tide for his team. We root for him because he is the type of person we like to be--a tough but ultimately kind-hearted lug who overcomes the odds by determination. At the same time the movie avoids the trap of taking itself seriously, and in the end gives us some good not-particularly-clean fun.

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Great Hockey Movie

8/10
Author: Steven Kind from Long Island, New York
18 January 2015

This was a very good movie especially if you are a Hockey fan like me. This movie focuses on its main character Doug "The Thug" Glatt. Who is really good at fighting and he proves that he is so good at fighting that he gets recruited to hockey teams to be a enforcer or a Goon. In this movie we watch Doug develop as a character and we learn a lot about his teammates and the other characters in this movie. This movie reminds me of the hockey movie Youngblood from the 1980s but except this movie tells the story of a goon and not just a hockey player. It is very interesting with a movie just about a goon because we get to experience many different fighting scenes and we see how Doug is not just a fighter but he is also a very nice guy.

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If Forrest Gump were written by Evan Goldberg and set on the ice rink...

8/10
Author: lysergic-acid from United States
11 January 2015

I'm not much of a sports fan, but I do enjoy the good occasional sports film or documentary, whether it's about football, baseball, snowboarding or hockey.

And this is a great sports film --if you're not turned off by excessive amounts of violence, profanity and generally vulgar language.

Pardon the crass review summary, but there are indeed a lot of parallels between this film and Forrest Gump:

- Seann William Scott plays Doug Glatt: a quiet and somewhat innocent protagonist who's not the brightest bulb in the box (especially compared to his physician father and brother) but demonstrates great heart and is endlessly sweet and endearing. His sweetness and generally meek and naive demeanor contrast starkly with the physical prowess he demonstrates as a bar bouncer/back alley enforcer.

- Our simple-minded hero is dragged out of his dreary, mediocre existence by a chance but dramatic demonstration of his physical talent: a superhumanly thick skull and ability to knock guys out cold without breaking a sweat. He's quickly recruited by a local hockey team and sets off on his athletic adventure.

- Doug falls head over heels for a flighty bad girl who has some emotional issues tied to self-destructive sexual promiscuity. She wants him but keeps pushing him away and alternating hot and cold because she knows she's bad for him. Yet our romantically naive hero never wavers in his adoration for this troubled hockey groupie.

OK, so it's not an exact point-for-point matchup with the multi-Academy-Award-winning 1994 classic. But Goon does have a lot of heart and will surprise those who give it a chance.

Obviously, being written by Jay Baruchel and Evan Goldberg (frequent collaborator with Seth Rogen), Goon is of a different ilk from more "serious" dramedies like Forrest Gump. This film features the same style of man-child pothead humor that has done so well in films like Pineapple Express, Superbad and This is the End. There are tons of memorable lines and gut-busting scenes that keep the energy level of the film high without encroaching on the plot or drama.

For a short dramedy that emphasizes the comedy, there's a fair amount of character development as we see Doug grow into his role on the team, discovering what it means to be a "goon" while also helping his girlfriend, Eva, and teammate, Xavier, get over their respective issues.

And really that's all the character development you need in a satisfying and life-affirming sports comedy. The main character doesn't need to experience a personal catharsis or undergo a sweeping character arc to touch the audience. And the hilarious supporting characters in the film (notables include the goalie, the best friend, and the Russian brothers) don't need to change in order to deliver compelling and thoroughly entertaining performances that sell the camaraderie between friends and teammates or create a convincing portrayal of hockey culture.

This is a very well cast and directed film in which pretty much every character works and adds their own contribution to the movie. Even the more minor roles, like the sportscasters, the donair restaurant owner, Ricky Mabe's character, etc. tie in so well to the feel of the movie and the comedic effect of each scene.

Schreiber also delivers an excellent portrayal of the "bad" goon and makes for an excellent antagonist/rival in a genre that often has very cheesy, hammed up "villains." Instead, Ross "the Boss" Rhea is shown as a tragic anti-villain who receives the audience's sympathy as much as he gains their antipathy for brutalizing the protagonists.

Overall, this is just a great feel-good sports film with lots of lewd language and hilarious characters. There's certainly drama as you watch the protagonist struggle against the odds in the rink and struggle with life and relationships on and off the ice. But it never gets too heavy and keeps you gripped with its abundant humor and action.

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A Very Pleasing Comedy!

9/10
Author: g-bodyl from United States
28 November 2014

I'm not a hockey fan by any stretch of the imagination, but Goon is a really funny, heart-warming film despite the film being hockey-based. But then again, this is a Canadian movie so a hockey film from Canada is not surprising at all. But the film goes beyond the sport and into the realm of its characters. The film is mostly based off the characters and their relationships with each other. Making friendships and finding love are some common themes here. However, the entertainment level is on full gear as we get some very brutal fights and lots of blood. The film is extremely violent, which may be a turn-off for some people expecting a film like 2004's Miracle.

Michael Dowse's film is about a man named Doug Glatt who heralds from an educated family and works as a bouncer at a bar, even though he seems dim-witted to a degree. But at a hockey game, he protects his best friend from a vicious hockey player by knocking him out cold which opens the eyes of the scouts. Despite disapproval from his parents, Doug gets a chance to shine as a enforcer for a minor league hockey team....and one of his rivals is a washed-up enforcer named Ross Rhea.

The acting is actually pretty good. Seann William Scott is known for his role as Stifler in the American Pie series, but he does an excellent job playing the complete opposite as the nice, but really dumb Doug. Jay Baruchel is okay as Doug's friend, but maybe tone down his language a bit. Liev Schreiber does a fine job as Rhea. Eugene Levy makes a cameo as Doug's father.

Overall, Goon turned out to be a pleasant surprise. It's much more than a sports film as it centers on a rags-to-rich story, which makes it all the better because of Doug's personality. There is enough blood and brawls to satisfy hockey fans or any sports fan in general. I'm not a hockey guy, but I was able to enjoy the film very much so because I pretty much saw the brawls as boxing on ice. It's a good, entertaining film. I rate this film 9/10.

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Has a certain something.

6/10
Author: JR541 from NY
22 September 2014

I'd really give this a 6.5 but no half stars allowed. If you're hoping for Seann William Scott to be Steve Stiffler playing hockey then you might be disappointed. Scott's character is an unintelligent, dull but a well meaning and loyal guy. While a lot of this movie is a comedy Scott plays the character straight. There is no "wink" to the audience at all. There is a sweetness to him that makes you pull for him. Liev Schreiber is the "bad guy" who is never really that, in fact you can kind if like him too if he wasn't punching people all the time. Almost wish he had more screen time. It's not quite Slap Shot but still worth a look.

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Must see for hockey fans!

8/10
Author: Pretty-Wycked-Designs from United States
30 June 2014

I've seen this movie four times, and I'm not even a hockey fan. However, by boyfriend and his brother are and I pulled this out the other night hoping they would like it.

I was happy to see them laughing throughout the entire movie.

Taken at face value Goon is implausible and unrealistic, but at the same time it's too damn entertaining to really care.

The acting is spot on, and the performance by Seann William Scott and Liev Schreiber are fantastic. Scott is perfect in this role of stupid, affable, tough guy drafted into hockey after beating a player while attending a hockey game. The build up to the "big fight" between him and "Ross Rhea" was perfect, and kept the story going and entertaining.

Listen, this is not "fine art" but a comical look at the grit and toughness of one of the best sports in the world.

Recommend if you're looking for something bloody with a lot of adult humor unsuitable for anyone under 18.

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It's on Netflix! WATCH IT!!

8/10
Author: Erin Kane from United States
12 June 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

First of all, I'd like to say that I'm really happy Sean William Scott can be in a movie where he isn't an dumb asshole douche bag. I feel like he's type-casted as such way too often, so it was great to see him as a big softie with a heart of gold. I think he was perfect for the role of Doug Glatt and his acting looked effortless.

As a hockey fan, this was a really fun movie to watch, even if some of the plays couldn't actually happen in real life. (It's called suspending your disbelief, and if you're going to nit-pick every little thing then you're never going to enjoy anything ever). I liked the different personalities of the players and the way that they did (or didn't) get along. The dialog and acting flowed well and it was overall a joy to sit through.

I think my favorite scene though had nothing actually to do with hockey. It's when Doug and Eva just get together and what could have been a run-of-the-mill, shove-it-in-the-movie-because- why-not sex scene is actually a very sweet scene between Scott and Allison Pill. The two of them are just lying in bed together, cuddling. It's a very down to earth scene and it made me smile without trying.

Overall the message in this movie is nice one. Work hard and be kind to everyone, even if they're not as nice to you. Eventually your efforts will pay off in a big way.

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