Reviewed by: Donald Munro

"What Goon does well is action on the ice and banter."

Goon is loosely based on Doug Smith's autobiographical account of his career as an ice hockey enforcer. The character of Doug Glatt (Seann William Scott) is a fairly liberal interpretation of Smith. Although the film is billed as a comedy there are very few laughs. So if you are going to see it as a version of the book or as a comedy you are going to be disappointed. What you will get to see is Punch Ups On Ice.

Goon is a celebration of the violence of minor league ice hockey. It follows Glatt from bouncing at a bar to final gladiatorial triumph on the rink. Fight after fight after fight with a little love interest thrown in, that's the movie. This is not about some grand struggle, this is about an intellectually subnormal guy thrown into the Colosseum. He is too stupid to be anything other than nice, polite and loyal. Too challenged to work in the civilised world, he finds his only option is to fight. Goon doesn't address the exploitative nature of the situation that Glatt finds himself in. Neither does Seann William Scott, who overplays him as a big dumb Labrador. You want to cringe rather than laugh.

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The other performances are all adequate but nothing to write home about. There is the impression that some of the characters should have been portrayed in a more three dimensional way. The people who they were based on are probably important to Doug Smith and deserved some fleshing out. The scenes involving Eva (Alison Pill) and Glatt kept making me think of WALL·E, which was a little unfortunate. Those between Glatt and his family don't add much to the film.

What Goon does well is action on the ice and banter. It captures the speed and danger of ice hockey. The action is fast and almost never lets up. The fights are a flurry of punches, the camera is up close and there is very little in the way of slow motion, save from a single falling tooth. The locker room and team bus talk is lively and sometimes funny. What Goon suffers from is a poor plot, a lack of depth and humour that doesn't allways work. For violence, dysfunctional behaviour and crassness it can't be faulted.

Reviewed on: 06 Jan 2012
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Labeled an outcast by his brainy family, a bouncer overcomes long odds to lead a team of under performing misfits to semi-pro hockey glory, beating the crap out of everything that stands in his way.
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Director: Michael Dowse

Writer: Jay Baruchel, Adam Frattasio, Evan Goldberg, Doug Smith, based on the book by Doug Smith and Adam Frattasio.

Starring: Seann William Scott, Jay Baruchel, Alison Pill, Liev Schreiber, Kim Coates, Eugene Levy, David Paetkau, Marc-André Grondin, Sidney Leeder, Sean Skene, Jonathan Cherry, Ricky Mabe, David Lawrence, Mitchell Kummen, Ellen David

Year: 2011

Runtime: 92 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: US


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