Directed by Michael Dowse
There are not many hockey movies, and of those, not many are all that good. Though Goon will certainly not go down as an all-time great, it's still a solidly entertaining sports comedy with strong performances by Seann William Scott and Liev Schreiber.
This is a movie about both the big picture and individual triumph. Though Scott holds nothing back on the rink for the benefit of his team, it's his personal sacrifices and ceaseless loyalty that is largely the focus of the film. To him, his team is more important than his personal feats, but it's because of his selflessness that we find ourselves rooting for him. Not often do movies like this have characters that are so genuinely easy to root for and care about, but thanks to Seann William Scott, it wasn't hard.
Seeing Seann William Scott (whom most will remember as Stifler from the American Pie movies) in a role like this was quite a surprise to me. I will always enjoy seeing actors who are usually typecast breaking away from their typical roles and going with something completely different, which he does here. Though this is still a comedy, the role is a definite change-up for Scott and he makes the most of it, proving that he actually has some acting range. I wish I could say the same for Jay Baruchel, who takes up the reigns as the Stifler-type character of the movie with obnoxious results.
I often enjoy movies where the villains aren't particularly villainous. Goon could have easily taken the route of making Liev Schreiber's character totally unlikeable and turned him into a stereotypical antagonist, but it doesn't. Instead, they make him out to be exactly what he is -- a minor league hockey goon who is good at his job, and isn't afraid to admit that he enjoys it. A mutual respect is formed between Schreiber and Scott's characters, making him less of a villain and more just an opponent he must inevitably face.
The story has its fair share of cliches, few of the characters are properly explored, and the script contains a plethora of unnecessarily foul language, but none of this distracts from the fact that this is a good movie. Plenty of laughs, fun premise, and a very likable leading performance. Couldn't ask for much more out of a comedy.