(Dir: Michael Dowse, 2011)
Goon is a hell of a lot fun. That statement could simply be my review, but I liked the film so I'll give it a bit more of a review than that.
The “sports comedy” genre doesn’t stand out as one of films greatest genres. It’s heavily clichéd and whether you like a film or not can frequently depend on what you think of the sport involved and how heavily the film focuses on it. Personally I’ve always had a vague fascination with ice-hockey. Not enough to ever get into watching it, and I’ve unfortunately never seen a game live, but it’s still one of the sports that intrigues me most, meaning the concept of Goon appealed to me.
Goon manages to achieve a good balance of showing enough of the sport for it to remain interesting and not alienate those who don’t know it, but also to show enough of the human side to allow us to care about the lead character Doug. Seann William Scott is perfectly cast as the slow-witted but decent and well meaning Doug, who is just looking for his place in this world, which turns out to be fighting and taking hits on the ice. He has a sweetness about him, particularly in the scenes with Eva (Alison Pill), which works its way through the films core, which is much to Goon’s credit as this helps to perfectly offset the copious amounts of bloody violence on the ice. And there is a lot of bloody violence, which actually provides a basis for a fair portion of the comedy. But don’t let that put you off, the film is very very funny and it’s been a while since I laughed out loud so much in the cinema. The supporting cast is solid, particularly Liev Schreiber as the bad-ass experienced enforcer on a rival team, who Doug will have to inevitably go up against at some point.
Credit to Jay Baruchel who, alongside Evan Goldberg, has written a great little film - clearly a passion project for him that was definitely worth the time and effort bringing to the screen. Goon is better than your average sports comedy... hell, it's better than most recent non-sports comedies too. Don't miss it if the chance to watch it comes your way.