Movie review: Goon

By Ljudmila Petrovic

Another lively addition to the genre of testosterone-fuelled ‘not a boy, not yet a man’ flicks

Seann William Scott stars in Goon as Doug, a lovable club bouncer whose lack of direction in life is his parents’ biggest disappointment. After attending a local hockey game with his quirky and socially inappropriate friend (Jay Baruchel, also co-writer of the screenplay with Evan Goldberg) and getting into a fistfight with one of the players, the coach shows interest in Doug and invites him to attend a practice.

Despite his complete lack of talent for hockey, Doug makes it big when the Halifax Highlanders take him on to protect Laflamme (Marc-André Grondin), a nimble hockey star who lost his nerve after a fight on the ice with Ross Rhea (Leiv Schreiber), a player infamous for his punches. Laflamme spirals into a lifestyle of drugs and womanizing and, despite his initial scorn towards Doug, the two eventually develop a camaraderie.

Additionally, Doug manages to woo Eva (Alison Pill), a cute-as-a-button girl who hangs around bars, sleeps with hockey players, and cheats on her boyfriend. Their courtship is adorable at times, funny at times, and sad at times, but overall it adds a certain touch to the general plotline.

The main strength of the movie lies in the characters: the hockey team is made up of quirky characters, from a recently divorced team captain to a pair of Russian brothers. The interactions between them result in hilarious antics, and the audience is drawn to follow them as their team spirit grows and they start to appreciate one another, especially Laflamme and Doug.

Doug is good-natured, but dumb, and elicits sympathy and support from the audience, while Seann William Scott does an excellent job of portraying an oblivious, but caring, character.

Overall, the movie will definitely elicit some chuckles, and the humour is steady throughout. It also has the benefit of being part of the relatively rare genre of sports comedies, with a screenplay by one of the co-writers of Superbad and Pineapple Express.

This being said, however, there is not much more than that; Goon is a good movie to see if you’re not looking for much more than some laughs and some original characters. There is nothing spectacular about it: it is meant to be lighthearted and humourous, and it hits the mark in this sense, but it does not go far beyond that.