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April 2, 2012


By Sweet Sugar

Rating: A

Overall: Loved it and didn’t want it to end. Plus there’s a reference to Dolph Lundgren.

Starring: Seann William Scott, Jay Baruchel, Liev Schreiber, Eugene Levy, and other awesome up-and-comers

Seriously, watch Goon. It’s not just about fighting.

It’s a lower budget movie that came out under-the-radar.  The only reason I discovered it was through an interesting Q&A on Grantland with the real Doug Smith, who wrote the book “Goon: The True Story of an Unlikely Journey into Minor League Hockey.” The book was about his decade of experience as an enforcer, or goon, playing minor league hockey, which was adapted into this movie.

The movie is a serious career-saver for Seann William Scott, who is amazing as Doug Glatt. It’s fun because, yeah, it’s about the role of enforcers in hockey, but the best part is it’s a “something from nothing” story.

In the movie, a local minor league hockey coach sees local bouncer Sean William Scott easily beat up a guy, and then invites him to try out for the team because they needed an enforcer. He makes the team and ends up making the next level with a Canadian league a step below the NHL.  In one of the funnier lines in the movie, Doug’s best friend Pat, played by Jay Baruchel, admiringly calls Doug, who is Jewish, “the Hebrew Dolph Lundgren.”

It’s interesting because Doug is just a nice, loyal guy who just fights to protect his misfit teammates, who were absolutely hilarious. Watch the movie just to see the two Russians incessantly making fun of the team’s goalie.

Doug patiently woos a really cool love interest, deals with a non-approving family, and wins the hearts of his teammates and fans. The movie culminates in a brutal on ice fight between Doug and his once hero, now adversary, Ross Rhea, played by Live Schreiber.  The background is that Ross completely wrecked Doug’s star teammate in the NHL a couple of years prior and sent him on a downward personal and professional spiral into the minor leagues.

This movie is truly a lesson in likeable characters. Seann William Scott nails the role as a modest, tender guy opposite his roles in the American Pie series. The Movies Films & Flix crew loves to harangue about the importance of likeable characters, and this is the real deal.

Watch Goon. Be happy. Admire bad mustaches. Find something to be good at.

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