Arriving with little fanfare, this Seann William Scott led ice-hockey comedy will just be all the more rewarding for those that make the effort to find it. Boasting the fitting tagline, "punch destiny in the face" this is an aptly marketed laugh fest that will bring down its target audience in utter hysterics. Apatow alum Jay Baruchel (who also appears) and Evan Goldberg co-pen a simple, but very funny hockey tale with more than a hint of Paul Newman's 'Slap Shot' about it.
Scott is the tough but sweet Doug Glatt. When a pissed up lout insults his homosexual brother during a hockey game, Doug beats him senseless, and during said beat-down is spotted by the manager of a local team and hired to be his new "enforcer." What enforcers do is basically protect the star player, and intimidate the other team as much as possible. Doug may be bad at hockey, but he kicks ass at kicking ass and is subsequently spotted by a team higher up the food chain and tasked with turning around the fortunes of their superstar player, Laflamme (Grondin). Quickly endearing himself to the entire team and their fans, a shown down with Liev Schreiber's soon-to-retire veteran tough bastard, Ross Rhea, seems destined to happen.
I've always been a fan of goofy, unpretentious comedies. The likes of Hot Tub Machine and Old School are genuinely amongst my favourites, and if that type of crass, aggressive humour appeals to you then you will absolutely love Goon. Never deviating from the tried and tested triumph over adversity plot that has anchored many a sports flick over the years, its simplicity serves to be part of its charm. Goon even makes a homage to Heat work. This is a film about ice hockey that recreates a classic scene better than any other movie since.
Scott's lead character is somewhere between Forrest Gump and Rocky; dim but inherently likeable, it's easily his best role since Stifler in the American Pie series. Always an actor who has played to his strengths, he's genuinely endearing and funny as the lead here, and is perfect casting. Baruchel is amusing support, and Schreiber is obviously enjoying himself. There's also a bunch of laughs to be had in the banterful exchanges between teammates and if a sequel did happen that's something that could really be expanded upon.
Unsurprisingly slight, this expands on its honest marketing wonderfully and delivers plenty of laughs in the process.
Story by Mike Sheridan | 14:39 | Wednesday 27th June 2012 | DVD review
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