Netflix This: ‘Goon’By
It’s a shame it took me so long to get around to seeing Goon — it was on my must see list for far too long. Now that I’ve seen it, and loved it, a post recommending others check it out on Netflix is a must.
The film stars Seann William Scott as a bouncer at a bar named Doug Glatt, a brute built for fighting. Despite never strapping on skates, he’s recruited to play hockey based solely on his ability to win any fist fight. His hard work to improve as a player and unscathed record in hockey fights gives his woeful semi-pro team a lift — they gel and start winning some games. This story is painfully violent, hilarious at times, but deeply emotional in the film’s crowning moments.
Doug is heralded as the next ‘king of the hockey fight’ as the long brutal career of Ross Rhea, played masterfully by Liev Schreiber, is coming to an end. The film teases at their eventual and inevitable duel of fists, and even better, builds on that until the gory climax. The hockey play in Goon isn’t going to wow anyone as being realistic, but the fighting definitely will.
The best piece of this film is Seann William Scott. Most of us have seen him playing the raunchy ego-driven douche many times over the years. But here he plays a soft-spoken admirable guy looking to find his niche, something he is good at, something that will make his parents proud. This is no easy task as his father (Eugene Levy), mother, and brother are all doctors. They all expect him to have a prestigious profession. But the thing is, Doug isn’t very smart. He struggles greatly with the burden of expectations his family has and their lack of acceptance for his new found career as a hockey fighter. Watching Seann William Scott act like a dim-witted beast with a huge heart is touching — this is, in my opinion, the best role of his career (sorry Stifler).
Goon on the production scale is a work to admire as well — the direction, the soundtrack, the choreography in the fights and some of the hockey sequences, the strength in the script, it’s all a plus. The film also has strong supporting performances from Jay Baruchel, Allison Pill, Kim Coates, and Marc-André Grondin. While I myself am not a big fan of Baruchel, he fit his very odd role very well as the number one cheerleader for Doug Glatt the hockey player.
Any hockey fan should make a date with Goon — as should anyone who has enjoyed a Seann William Scott character before (Role Models, Road Trip come to mind). The film perfectly balances the painful, the funny and the heartfelt moments. Goon is a film I need to see again, so I can soak up all the oddities from Doug Glatt and enjoy watching him discover his calling as a hockey enforcer.