Sports is all about coming together for a cause greater than yourself. Look at the great teams that win championships – they’re a group of men or women that come together to achieve something. Teams that are collections of talent rarely win, and that’s what Goon is about.
Sean William Scott plays a charming, stupid and lovable club bouncer that’s only good at one thing: fighting. While at a lower-tier hockey game he gets into a fight with one of the players and absolutely pummels him, so his best friend gives him a spot on his local TV hockey show and he gets signed to a tiny team as an enforcer.
Scott is particularly charming here and shows off some of his talents here. He’s always going to be known as playing a good douche, American Pie’s Stifler and even his role in Role Models pays tribute to that, but this is probably his best work to date. He’s not only charming, but he’s damned lovable and will bring a smile to your face with some of his lines. Oh, and he’s rowdy enough to absolutely destroy someone’s face.
And that’s part of the appeal of Goon, it’s brutal. Some of the fights in this will have you wincing and clinching your teeth. Punches have solid impact, and the results on the faces of the players will have you double back at some points. There’s a particular scene three-quarters through the film that’s not for people with weak stomachs.
But like the main character, the film is also filled with heart. Scott’s Doug Glatt is just trying to find his way in the world and will do what he thinks is right, whether that’s asking people to punch him in the face for his mistakes or trying to convince his family hockey is what he’s made to do or defending his gay brother. The sports action and bouts aren’t there just to be there for shock value or machoness, it’s there because Glatt is trying to become a part of a whole and doing what he thinks is right.
Being a dramedy, Goon also has a hefty bout of comedy. Co-star and writer Jay Baruchel injects the film with some funny dialogue for both dim-witted Glatt and his insane teammates, whose back and forth is particularly funny in the first half rather than the second.
Liev Schreiber is also featured in this film as a kind of foil to Glatt, and he is absolutely terrifying. He barely has any screen time in the film, but when he does he comes off as mentally unhinged and totally dangerous, and he absolutely shines in that capacity.
Goon is currently available on Netflix Instant and you should definitely check it out. Not only is it full of heart, but it’s a high-quality sports dramedy that we’ve been missing for quite a while.