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Goon (2011)

by on 2015/05/18

“Why don’t you give me your number and I promise that I’ll never call you.”

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I am not a big hockey person. Actually, that statement’s not really true. I am vaguely – very vaguely – aware a sport named hockey exists. Come to think of it, I am vaguely aware that something called sports exist.

Sure, I used to play a hockey video game at an arcade on Yonge Street a fair amount. But that arcade no longer exists, and therefore, my tenuous connection to this thing called hockey ended too.

However, a movie like Goon with its charming smile of broken, bloody teeth might just convince me that hockey is worth a little more of my time. Maybe.

Let me cut (slash) right to (the exposed shin of) the point here. This was an awfully, awfully good movie. Goon made a compelling spittle- and expletive-laden argument for the occasional gloriousness of this sport.

The real magic stuff of this movie is the truly the “Doug stuff.” Seann William Scott as Doug Glatt is the sweet, brutal decent, heart of this brutal, sweet, indecent movie. Doug is a simple man.  He can take a punch. He can throw a punch.

We see Doug punch, punch, punch.

But there is more to Doug than a cast-iron forehead and fists like frozen hams. He’s a nice, nice man who cares deeply about doing his job – which is to protect a star hockey player Xavier LaFlamme played by C.R.A.Z.Y.‘s Marc-André Grondin working as the team’s “enforcer.”

The film is a bit of meditation on the role of the hockey enforcer – it is dedicated to a real-life minor league hockey enforcer named Doug Smith. It is also about the intrinsic part that violence plays in hockey. Oh whatever … did you know Liev Schreiber (Mixed Nuts) sports a mullet and a 70s hockey thug handlebar moustache in this movie?!

Goon writer Jay Baruchel plays the foul-mouthed bestie to Doug. Then there’s the softly and sweetly adorable Alison Pill who drinks and swears like a trucker. It is also directed by fellow Albertan and mastermind behind the great FUBAR films, Michael Dowse. So very much Canadian awesome in this movie.

It every hockey game were as warm-hearted, layered, violent and redemptive, I might watch. I might even paint my face and go, “wooooooo!” alot. But until that day, I think I’d rather watch Goon.

Sounds like I might soon get my wish with a well-deserved, much-anticipated sequel in the works.


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