Doug Glatt (Seann William Scott) is a bouncer at a local Beantown bar. He is a bit of a loser but takes pride in his job and doesn’t randomly beat people up, unless his boss tells him too, at least. His family are more accomplished – his father and brother are doctors, but Doug’s only real asset are his fists so you can kind of understand why he does what he does. And in case you didn’t already know – the film is based on a real life ice-hockey player so there is a deal of reality in the film, although I believe the violent is certainly over-sensationalised and overly bloody.
Doug’s best friend is Pat (Jay Baruchel) an ice-hockey obsessed geek who has his own tacky cable TV ice-hockey commentary show. When Pat is reporting on a local match of the Halifax Highlanders, Doug unwittingly gets into a fight to protect Pat from a loud-mouth ice-hockey player. Doug wins the fight and is spotted by the team coach of the Highlanders who offers him a chance to become a player for the team - his role - a goon, a player that fights other players on opposing teams to defend his weaker (more technically skilled) team mates.
I’m an ice-hockey fan myself and have been to several games in the UK and I must admit it took me quite a while to understand and to some extent accept the fighting that goes on in ice-hockey matches. I originally thought that the fights were spur-of-the-moment occurrences that flared up in matches between players, with the possibility of one of the players not really wanting to be involved. However in reality players are very rarely involved in fights that they don’t want to be involved in and indeed players are chosen to act as defenders or ‘enforcers’ and only fight with other ‘enforcers’ or ‘goons’.
Doug learns to skate and does well in his new role. He is dubbed Doug “The Thug” Glatt and soon gets traded to a more professional team and ultimately has to face off against Ross “The Boss” Rhea (Liev Schreiber). He even gets a girlfriend called Eve, in the lovely form of Kim Pine – sorry I mean Alison Pill (Alison Pill played Kim Pine – the iconic, awesome drummer of Sex Bob-omb – in Scott Pilgrim Vs the World), who produces another winning, if small, performance.
Jay Baruchel scripts and stars and for my liking is too comfortable with profanities and crudities, especially after starring roles in family-friendly films such as The Sorcerer's Apprentice. I’m not saying that Baruchel should be type-cast to act only in family films but it’s odd to see him so comfortable with writing and acting the way he does in this film.
Goon is an enjoyable film (apart from some of the slightly over-the-top fighting) and the ice-hockey action is exciting and there are plenty of laughs. Recommended.