Goon is an excellently violent, foul-mouthed, and charming hockey comedy

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Starring Seann William Scott, Liev Schreiber, and Jay Baruchel. Rated 18A.

When winter sucks, three out of four amateur psychologists agree that we must satisfy our blood lust. We need to see blood and teeth hitting ice. Okay, given our seasonal affective disorder and general immaturity, we need to see a lot of claret spray and many incisors knocked out. And that’s why the excellently violent, foul-mouthed, and, uh, charming hockey comedy Goon has arrived.

Hmm. Can Goon possibly please both fans of violent, foul-mouthed 1977 hockey comedy Slap Shot and those who shudder at the human animal’s capacity for brutality? Well, no-funsters mightn’t grasp that Goon’s makers totally get our penchant for pummelling each other and thus slyly put in way radical head-punching, jaw-walloping, forehead-butting, noggins slammed on ice, and blood smeared on hockey-arena glass.

And, hey, Slap Shot fans: shut the puck up. Goon has director Michael Dowse (Fubar) and cowriters (and costar) Jay Baruchel and Evan Goldberg (Superbad) on its bench, plus a team of stupidly funny Canadian character actors in the locker room.

The prize goon is Doug “the Thug” Glatt (Seann William Scott). Dad (Eugene Levy) and gay bro Ira (David Paetkau) are doctors, but Doug, on the other hand, hardly needs a hockey helmet because he’s clearly been dropped on his melon as a baby. He’s a sweet simpleton and iron-fisted Massachusetts bouncer until a hockey coach steps in. Soon he is off to the minor league Halifax Highlanders to protect its depressed, druggie star scorer, Xavier Laflamme (Marc-André Grondin), and confront veteran pummeller Ross Rhea (an excellent, handlebar-mustachioed Liev Schreiber).

Scott’s endearing dimwit is key to Goon’s essential good nature, especially in scenes with Alison Pill as hockey slut Eva: “You make me want to stop sleeping with a bunch of guys.” Yeah, sister.

After all, Doug has been “touched by the fist of God, for chrissakes”.


Watch the trailer for Goon.

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