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Friday, March 30, 2012

Why Guys Will Love Goon But Their Wives Will Not.

There is something thrilling about seeing a movie before others. I often try to attend movie screenings whenever I have a chance. For instance, being part of the first audience to ever see 127 Hours 4 months before it came out while sitting next to Aaron Ross himself was quite the thrill. Recently, I had the privilege to view the upcoming film Goon starring Sean William Scott. The film is based on the true story of Doug Smith, an amateur boxer who made a career for himself being a thug and a fighter in the American hockey leagues, eventually making the roster of an AHL team. The film is extremely violent and focuses and the brutally real world of Hockey fighting and violence. The film graphically depicts the punching, cuts, blood, and bruises associated with such a violent sport. Surprisingly, I thought the movie was actually quite entertaining and is receiving pretty good reviews from some of the harshest critics out there.
The movie focuses on Doug Glatt, a lifeless mid-American guy who has nothing going for him other than his hard head and lethal fists.  When given the chance to play for the local hockey team, Doug becomes a fan favorite as the team’s thug who is willing to go toe to toe with anybody to protect his team. But Dougie is not a violent or mean guy. Scott actually plays him as a sweet idiot who just tries to use the talents he was given for good. For such a violent film, Goon is rowdy yet humane and sweet.  The added plot line to the film is that as his team is trying to make the playoffs, Doug faces off against Ross “The Boss” Rhea(Liv Schrieber) the most legendary bruiser and thug in hockey history; think McSorey and Scott Stevens rolled into one. As Rhea is planning to retire, he hopes to prove his worth with one last showdown with the newest thug. The movie has a nice tempo to it, constantly moving without leaving the audience bored. Scott completely sells himself to the role and is excellent as the quite spoken yet deadly goon.
The film isn’t very deep other than the message of teamwork and self sacrifice but it adds some good comedy and touches upon some of the greatness of the classic film Slap Shot. One critic when as far as saying, “With apologies to The Mighty Ducks, we are, almost certainly, looking at the second-best ice hockey movie ever made. (Slap Shot retains the top spot)” The supporting cast is both funny and satisfying as they play their role and let the true stars of the film shine.
While I strongly recommend this movie any guy, especially those who love hockey and quote Slap Shot, this film is not for women. No I am not a sexist pig or anything like that; but I feel that there is little for women to enjoy here. There is of course a romantic twist to the film as Doug falls for a local hockey loving girl but for the most part, unless you find men with bloody noses, black eyes, and missing teeth attractive, you won’t enjoy the film.
Finally, I just want to emphasize the brutality of the film. The director focuses on and sometimes even slow motions the extreme violence in these fights. When someone is punched, we see the cut open and the blood spurt. When someone’s head gets smashed we feel the bone crunching hit. Cuts are opened, bones are broken, and faces are absolutely disfigured. If you don’t mind this then enjoy the film.

Sex: Very Brief Partial Nudity and some references to sex
Violence: As graphically violent as you can get
Language: non-stop vulgar language
Drugs: brief marijuana use
Rated: R
Run time: 90 minutes
Grade: 3 Stars

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