Starring Noah Reid and Allie MacDonald. Rated PG.
Hockey has given the world some ugly things over the decades: Dan Cloutier’s playoff goaltending, the Vancouver Canucks’ flying-V jerseys, and that unfortunate Steve Moore incident (you know, the one where he concussed Markus Naslund). You can add the what-the-hell-were-they-thinking Score: A Hockey Musical to that list.
Watch the trailer for Score: A Hockey Musical.
Writer-director Michael McGowan gets almost nothing right in a laughless movie that delivers what its title promises: songs performed by dudes in stockings and garter belts. Those who are fixated on things that make our national game great—blood, violence, and profanity—will find nothing to make them forget Slap Shot, the benchmark by which all hockey movies are measured. Instead of edgy, we get what seems like an off-puttingly chipper ABC Afterschool special in which a raised-by-hippie-pacifists hockey prodigy, Farley Gordon (fresh-faced and likable Noah Reid), is plucked from an outdoor rink to become an NHL prospect. The only thing funny about his journey is how unfunny it is.
Score falls flattest where the singing and skating is concerned. That many of the numbers come across as clunkily lip-synched is bad enough. Even worse is that the songs seem carefully crafted to remind you why you hated the Barenaked Ladies back in their days of atrocious sweaters and worse haircuts. And although the generic Canuck indie rock might be forgivable, sung lines such as “Even Einstein over the ice he liked to glide” are most certainly not.
Score wants desperately to be liked, the problem being that it’s so damn polite it somehow manages to make a bench-clearing brawl seem like an outtake from an MGM musical. It takes a special talent to make a movie about hockey that will have zero appeal to those living in the land of snowmobiles, back bacon, and beavers. If that was McGowan’s goal, he just scored.