Hockey is world known as Canada’s game, and when you look at the players in the NHL the majority of them are from the great white north. Goon opened in Canada at the end of February, and makes its US premiere almost a month later. The movie has attracted a bit of attention in its home country, and it will be interesting to see how it does down south. Hockey will be on the minds of sports fans then anyway, considering the Stanley Cup play-offs are getting closer to starting.
Doug Glatt (Seann William Scott) is an outcast from his family. After all his brother followed in his brainy parents footsteps and became a doctor, whereas he is a lowly bouncer working for minimum wage in a dive of a bar. He’s friendly though, and loyal to his best friend Ryan (Jay Baruchel). One night at while at a minor league hockey game Doug gets into a fight with one of the players, and the coach of the team instantly takes a liking to him and enlists his aid. Doug can’t skate, or play hockey, but he’s willing to learn, and he’s willing to be the teams goon and take on all comers. Before too long he gets called up to the next level of minor hockey to act as the enforcer for Xavier Laflamme (Marc-Andre Grondin), a young hot shot hockey player who lost his edge after getting injured. Before too long he finds himself on a collision course with Ross Rhea (Liev Schreiber) a professional goon who is close to retiring. Doug is strong and good at what he does, but can he match up with the best of the best? Only time will tell.
There is no doubt that Goon is a Canadian movie through and through. It may bring back memories of Paul Newman’s Slapshot, but it is very different. Seann William Scott plays a lovable loser, and even though his acting may not be top notch you find yourself caring for him. The love story that starts to appear part way through the movie just adds to his charm, and helps him carry this film from start to finish. Many people will undoubtedly always remember him as Stiffler from the American Pie movies, but this may become his next biggest remembered role. The movie itself is based on a true story, and it helps you see the role of the enforced in a completely different light.
The Goon is a good movie, and if you can’t get out to the theater to support Canadian cinema, at the very least it deserves a rental when it comes out on DVD.