3) Goon [7.0]

Not content with his job as a bouncer at a local Beantown bar and a bit of an embarrassment to his accomplished family, a bouncer dreams of the kind of success enjoyed by a minor league hockey goon Ross Rhea. When a chance encounter with an on-ice thug leads to a bloody fist fight that he easily wins, the coach of the Halifax Highlanders sees potential in this mammoth sized man who is only hampered by his lack of any hockey playing ability.

Not content with his job as a bouncer at a local Beantown bar and a bit of an embarrassment to his accomplished family, a bouncer dreams of the kind of success enjoyed by a minor league hockey goon Ross Rhea. When a chance encounter with an on-ice thug leads to a bloody fist fight that he easily wins, the coach of the Halifax Highlanders sees potential in this mammoth sized man who is only hampered by his lack of any hockey playing ability. (2012)

Over the years there’s been a dialogue as to whether or not fighting in hockey is necessary. With consideration to the violence and injuries that can potentially cause brain damage, both fans and the NHL have debated whether to ban it outright. Goon (based on a true story) focuses on Doug (Sean William Scott), a dimwitted but sweet enforcer who can do severe damage with his fists. He hasn’t had the most prolific career, but Sean William Scott is at his best here.

Doug has a heart of gold, and not once did Scott betray that aspect of the character in favor of goofy expressions or easy laughs akin to Steve Stifler. Kim Coates of Sons of Anarchy fame doesn’t make for a particularly convincing coach, but Curt Keilback (former announcer for the Winnipeg Jets) is solid as an inane sports announcer. The rivalry between Doug and legend Ross Rhea (played by Liev Schreiber) takes an interesting approach in having both players respect each other, and even including a bit of paternal wisdom along the way.

Though it won’t go down in the annal of sports film classics, Goon is a respectable entry into the genre even if it doesn’t remotely attempt to weigh in on violence in hockey.

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2 comments
  1. My favorite part of this film was its complete absence of message. It didn’t even really seem to have a concrete narrative arc. It just kind of “was.” There was something about that that I thought mirrored the protagonist well. It was endearing.

  2. jdym00 said:

    I completely agree It’s great to just see something that isn’t beating you over the head with a theme or message.

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