Review: Goon: Last of the Enforcers

Goon: Last of the Enforcers
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PLOT: After a new enforcer sidelines him with a serious injury, Doug “The Thug” Glatt (Seann William Scott) prematurely retires at the urging of his newly pregnant wife, Eva (Alison Pill). But, his taste for “Goon” lifestyle isn’t so easy to give up. When his attacker (Wyatt Russell) becomes the new captain of his beloved Halifax Highlanders, Doug goes to his old rival, Ross “The Boss” Rhea (Liev Schrieber) to learn a few new tricks that can get him back in the game.

REVIEW: The original Goon was a movie JoBlo.com supported in a big way. I actually reviewed it out of TIFF way back in 2011, and when I said it was the best hockey comedy since SLAP SHOT - I meant it, although to be fair, how many hockey comedies have you ever seen? Whatever the case, it was a comedy gem, giving Seann William Scott the best role of his career as Doug “The Thug” Glatt, a violent hockey enforcer with a heart of pure gold.

It’s been a long, six year, wait for the sequel. In that time, the director of the first one, Michael Dowse, stepped down, and Jay Baruchel, who wrote and co-starred in the original, takes the helm with a bold, energetic sequel that seems to be patterned somewhat on ROCKY II. Despite this not unexpected formula, Baruchel’s style is madly ambitious, with far more emphasis this time on the fighting, less on the hockey itself. This is amusingly illustrated by Ross Rhea’s new job, working as a brawler in a travelling ice show filled with former goons that does away with any pretense of actual hockey. Instead, they all just skate to the middle of the rink and fight, with the last man standing being the winner.

That’s actually a pretty bold move for Baruchel, who's gone on-record listing George Miller as an influence. If anything, the fights here show that Baruchel, who’s still somewhat typecast as a lovable goof (even by himself – recreating his role as Doug’s sidekick from the first one), is a legit action director. He’s got a better sense of geography and choreography than a lot of helmers making tent poles, and this is a showcase for his considerable ability behind the camera. One thing worth noting is the complete lack of hand-held shaky cam, replaced instead by clean widescreen compositions and a classic style that’s starkly different from the more punkish aesthetic of the original.

goon last of the enforcers liev schreiber seann william scott

Lest you think it’s all action, the humor is just as bold, with GOON: LAST OF THE ENFORCERS the only movie I can think of where a throwaway gag involving auto-erotic asphyxiation feels appropriate - and brought down the house. Once again, the movie is made by Scott’s earnest, sweet performance as the thick but lovable Glatt, with Pill playing things a little straighter this time as the pregnant Eva, although Elisha Cuthbert picks up the slack as her hard drinking sister Mary - in a scene stealing performance. Schrieber’s gung ho as always as Ross Rhea, with him more of a Mickey or Apollo to Scott’s Rocky this time - a nice touch. Glatt’s locker room buddies all return and make for a lovable bunch, led by Kim Coates as the foul-mouthed coach. Wyatt Russell also makes for a tough antagonist, wearing a badass beard that, I figure, must be intentionally reminiscent of the one his dad Kurt Russell wore in THE THING. Of course, being a proudly Canadian production, the soundtrack is filled with classic Canuck cuts from Chilliwack, Gowan and more.

goon last of the enforcers seann william scott

Now, many American readers are probably wondering when they’re going to see GOON: LAST OF THE ENFORCERS. Canadians get it March 17th, but everyone else will have to wait a bit longer, with it apparently being on-track for a late-summer release, followed by a Netflix run. Canadian fans, obviously, should run to see this one opening day, and Americans, well, if you live close enough to the border, why not take a little road trip? It’s a really fun sequel, and pretty much just as good as the original.

Source: JoBlo.com



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