Goon: "You're Not Here To Play Hockey, You're Here To Fight"

Director: Michael Dowse
Writer:    Jay Baruchel
               Evan Goldberg   
Starring: Seann William Scott
               Liev Schreiber
               Jay Baruchel
               Marc-Andre Grondin
               Alison Pill
               Eugene Levy
Rating:    ***

So let's be honest...Ice Hockey isn't exactly the most popular sport in the UK, so already this film was going to struggle to find an audience over here. Luckily for this film, there is more than enough decent gags, and a fairly likable leading mad to save it from becoming one of the many film flops out there.

Despite the film being about a rather violent and aggressive subject matter, the film itself actually has a rather sweet under current throughout. The film follows the rising success of the sweet but dim Doug (Scott), who is a kind and loving guy, but has a slight rage issue. One night he is spotted by a Hockey manager when he is beating up a guy who made homophobic remarks about his brother (see kind and loving, but angry). The manager is so impressed by his 'skills' that he hires him as the new enforcer (I think that's what they're called) for the local team.

Despite the fact that Doug can barely stand up on the ice, he is given the highly important task of making sure that the team's star player, Laflamme (Grondin), does not receive anymore brutal beatings. However, it soon becomes apparent that Doug's success in Hockey will put him at logger heads with the rival's legendary enforcer Ross Rhea (Schreiber), as well as building tensions and rivalry's with his own teammates.

The one thing about that character Doug, is that he could end up becoming a cliched charicature of a character, but somehow Scott manages to completely avoid that happening. He gives Doug a an energy that is actually really gentle and sincere, which means we can empathise with the character emotionally, especially when it comes to his attempt at wooing the kind of slutty Eva (Pill). His honest and heartfelt efforts at winnig her over are far cry from hid days as the unsubtle and crass Steve Stifler, who probably would've just have grabbed a boob or something.

Liev Schreiber, who is working a rather fetching handlebar moustache, really stands out in his role, which he has made really physical and over the top which isn't something we expect from him. Admittedly his part in the film is far more minor than I was expecting, but with each scene he is in he fills it with energy and manages to make them as entertaining as he possibly can. The one issue I found, was that the build up to his and Doug's inevitable bust up was rather laboured and actually pretty predictable and dull to watch.

This film also sees the reunion of Seann William Scott and Eugene Levy, who is playing the same role he always does...the supportive father. Ok, he can generate the odd laugh, but would it actually kill him to mix it up. Goon also uses the odd throw away visual gag to generate a few laughs, which for me I kinda found patronising and annoying.

These gags, alongside plenty of over the top crude dialogue and outrageous shenanigans, largely work because of the effort and time put in by the cast and crew which really makes the comedy side fairly consistent. Ok so this isn't going to be 2012's most hilarious film, but there are a fair amount of chucklesome moments and an engaging lead performance from Scott, which means that Goon (depsite my better judgment) is actually a pretty successful comedy.

Goon - Red Band Trailer