Sunday, 15 January 2012

Movie #4 Goon

Just a quickie on this. Sean William Scott plays Doug 'the thug' Glatt a good-hearted/dim-witted bouncer-turned-ice-hockey-'enforcer' (the guy who beats the opposition players up); his remarkable team-spirit and talent for violence result in a move to the big(ish) league, becoming a cult hero in the process, leading in turn to an inevitable show-down with legendary ageing enforcer Ross 'the boss' Rhea (Liev Schreiber).

Pitched somewhere between Dodgeball and last year's Win/Win, Goon is a surprisingly warm-hearted and well-balanced comedy. There is a fair dollop of the gross-out stuff, but it's evened out by genuine wit and some surprising cultural sensitivity, as well as an oddly charming romance between Scott and Alison Pill. Scott himself is very funny in an understated performance, Schreiber is convincingly grizzled and the supporting cast of hockey-world stereotypes - the Russian import, the moustachioed Canuck (from Regina, Saskatchewan of course!), the flamboyant Quebecois - are lovingly drawn by writers Evan Goldberg and Jay Baruchel (who also co-stars as an anarchic fanboy best friend).

Speaking of the writing, beyond being a well-crafted story, there are some really great gags in the film too. I won't spoil any here, but suffice to say that you don't need to be a hockey fan to understand any of them. In fact, I'm a complete hockey neophyte, but enjoyed this film very much in spite of some initial reservations. Slight, certainly, but it's got plenty of laughs and plenty of heart. Recommended.

*******7/10

4 comments:

  1. I wasn't expecting much from this one, so its surprising to hear such praise going out for this film. Great review, but i'm in no hurry to see this one

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  2. It might be in danger of becoming perversly over-praised, strangely enough; this can be a problem when low expectations are confounded by a surprisingly good film. It's an enjoyable hour and a half with plenty of laughs - but nothing more than that.

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  3. Is this in wide release?

    My local theater is still hanging on to Sherlock Holmes 12 and Alvin & the Chipmunks: Shitshow.

    Consider yourself blessed.

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    1. Yuh-huh, for some reason this has been released over here before the North American market. Maybe this was the only open slot they could get here. I can't imagine that it won't be widely released over that side come March-time.

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