Goon is a surprisingly decent B movie due to Seann William Scott’s performance as Doug Glatt, a bouncer turned hockey player who uses his fighting skill, rather than his talent, to be successful on the ice. Even with Scott doing a fantastic job stepping outside his usual frat boy-esque role and into a much calmer and more sincere one, Goon is still plagued by it’s unrealistic spin on heroic comeback sports teams/players, and a comedic style in which characters yelling the word “fuck” is thought of as hilarious banter.
The story in Goon is essentially about the character Doug Glatt finding purpose, and even love, through the unconventional means of beating the crap out of hockey players. The movie starts off with Doug Glatt being sick of his job as a bouncer, and wishing he could find his way in life by finally doing something his parents can be proud of. After getting in a fist fight with a member of his local hockey team during a game, the coach asks him if he wants to play for the team, and that’s where Doug finally finds his purpose. He may not be very good at hockey player, but that’s not his job. His job is to be a tough guy, a thug, a goon, and stand up for his players out on the ice. From there, Doug finds himself dealing with pressures from family, a disjointed team, a girl he can’t be with, and his inevitable face off with the league's toughest player Ross Rhea played by Liev Schreiber.
The entire story of taking a team from terrible to a championship caliber is extremely generic, but at least the movie doesn’t make that its main purpose. The real purpose of Goon is to show Doug’s journey to find relevance in something unique, and it actually does this pretty well. Sean William Scott does a great job at making his character charming even if he isn’t all that bright. He’s a character easily connected with, and you really want him to succeed at what he’s doing even if the people he’s doing it for are utterly terrible people. Doug is actually a pretty inspiring character, and his journey is really Goon’s strong point.
However, the rest of the movie’s parts are bland, uncreative, or just unbelievable. As I said before, the comedy in Goon is truly devoid of any creativity. After realizing the word “fuck” was being used in almost every other sentence, I decided it would be helpful for me to count how many times the word was actually said, and I came up with a final number of 202 in about 80 minutes of movie. Considering I didn’t count how many times the words “shit”, “bitch”, “ass”, and “cock” were used, I wouldn’t be surprised if these words actually appear more in this movie than any all other words combined. I think this clearly demonstrates my point about how incredibly unfunny this movie was, that is, unless you’re juvenile enough to think that simply cursing is funny. Now to clarify, I’m an not opposed to cursing in movies in any way, and there are plenty of times that they can be used to give added effect and comedy, but simply using them as a default comedy go-to is just simply hard to watch. That’s not to say there weren’t some funny bits in this movie, but most of them were dry, one-off remarks by Scott’s character that came few and far between.
My other big complaint with Goon is its somewhat over-the-top premise of crazy hockey fights. Now, I’ve actually been to some hockey games where there were way more fights than there were goals, but anyone who knows anything about hockey knows that fights aren’t nearly as common or brutal as this movie makes them out to be. There were countless games in the movie where whole teams would break out in a fight, and there were even more times when fights would be started for almost no reason and then would last for way too long. I realize that the movie is trying to focus on Doug Glatt’s story, and his story is fighting, but the way this movie portrays the sport of hockey and the fighting that goes on is way over the top, and distractingly unbelievable.
There is an impressive list of bonus items to watch after the film including; a feature commentary with Director Michael Dowse and Jay Baruchel, "Power Play" - Behind the Scenes Interactive Feature, Deleted Scenes, Gag Reel, "Skating Bloopers Wipeout Reel", "Skating with Liv Schreiber", "Fighting 101", "Goalie Audition", "The Original Goon", Hockey Player Cards, and the obligatory Theatrical Trailer.
All in all, Goon is not a great movie, and the comedy is nothing short of disgraceful, but Seann William Scott delivers a good enough performance to make this movie worth a rental if you are into hockey.