I metioned during last Saturday's GDT that I was going watch this film the next day as, weirdly, we here in the UK got the release of the film first and that I would post a review, well the work week set in and now it's 6 days later but here's my review of the film:
Goon is the story of Doug Glatt a twenty-something who is not very bright and has few career prospects. However, he is exceptionally gifted with his fists and while attending a local hockey game with his best friend he gets into a fight in the stands with the visiting team's enforcer, pummeling him and grabbing the attention of the head coach of the local team thus starting him on his path to destiny.......
I should first say that the trailers for this film are somewhat misleading in that the film is made out to be a dopey comedy and although the film does have some very funny moments it is not what I would describe as hilarious and is closer to being a dramedy than a true comedy but that does not detract from it at all. If you are a fan of hockey you will be a fan of this film. In fact, this may now be my favourite or at least tied for my favourite hockey film, not that there are a lot to chose from.
Sean William Scott does a great job as the lead character and it's worth notig that this is the first time I've not seen him be Stifler in a film. Liev Shreiber is also very good in his role as the antagonist and even does a very good Newfie accent, although I must admit that my knowledge of Newfie accents is fairly limited. The rest of the supporting cast are all well cast and deliver great performances with a special mention going to Georges Laraque's brief performance.
Make no mistake, this film will likely get panned by a few people, it's not going to win any awards and it is laden with most of the cliches that all sports films have but if you take away those cliches you take away one of the things people love most about sports, success of the underdog. But this film does the sport of hockey no injustice and while it does have its Hollywood moments and implausibilities, overall it is still technically better in this regard than most film potrayals of sports. I just hope youngsters view it and start asking where all the enforcers have gone from the game of hockey and start an initiative to bring that "dirty" element back to the game that it kept clean for so long.
I should point out that I am a bit of a film snob and generally slate 90% of the films I watch for one reason or another and if I weren't such a fan of hockey and sports in general I would probably hate this movie; it's not without its flaws, the story skips unrythmically along at times, there are plot points that are partially introduced but not developed properly or it all, there are elements of the story that seem forced and others that are there to don't seem to be needed but I enjoyed watching this film so much that I don't want to focus on the too much negative aspects and despite the aforementioned flaws I feel it's worth praising the writers for there ablity to make just about every character in the film likeable which is no easy feat in a genre where character conflict is essential. This isn't the type of film that you're going to watch if you're looking for depth and artistic vision and if you are looking for something like that from a film like this then you deserve to be disappointed.
As I said above, if you love hockey you will love this film. If you love film then maybe not so much but I urge you to switch that critical brain off for 92 minutes and give this film a watch it is very enjoyable and violently heart-warming bit of cinema. Yeah, I said heart-warming but don't let that put you off, you'll understand when you see it.