BATTERED AND BRUISED Seann WIlliam Scott has to take some serious hits in ‘Goon’.
Super-violent Goon is bloody viewing
If you are in the mood for some zany bone-crunching blood, sweat and tears, the release of new sporting comedy Goon, which portrays an outcast bouncer as an unlikely protagonist, could be just the film for you.
‘American Pie’ star Seann William Scott appears as Doug Gratt, a simple yet devastatingly vicious ice hockey player with the ‘fist of god’ who receives acclaim in his locality for beating up opposing ice hockey players.
He subsequently gets offered a prime role in a Canadian semi-pro team as a brutish but surprisingly endearing ice hockey player.
Doug’s role is as a brawler on the team. His primary aim is not to play but ultimately to hospitalise the opposing team’s hardmen who attempt to beat up some of his most talented teammates.
Doug is essentially employed as a brute to deflect attention away from the team’s underperforming star player Xavier played by Marc-Andre Grondin, allowing him more time to play and ultimately restore his confidence.
In some senses his character plays ice hockey in a comparable way to ex-footballers Vinny Jones of Wimbledon or Julian Dicks of West Ham United - highly aggressive players who are directed to intercept the ball (or opponents) and create space for the more skillful players to win the game.
Doug is an outsider in his family home in Massachusetts and consistently fails to reach the heights of his doctor brother and the expectations of his professionally qualified parents played by William Scott’s American Pie co-star Eugene Levy and Ellen David.
Instead he wastes away his hours in a foolish manner with his outlandish and eccentric friend Pat played by Jay Baruchel.
When Doug is entrusted with being the ultra-violent goon on the ice-hockey team he finally is fulfilled by being recognised for something he is good at. This is in stark contrast to his parents’ opinion of his burgeoning career or the recurring negativity which surrounds him.
The outrageous humour in this film is very tongue-in-cheek. Doug is essentially an innocent sweet-natured character who turns into a frenzied gorilla when he is ordered to cause havoc on the ice. His escapades all too often end with him covered in more blood than an employee at a cattle slaughtering house.
The nature of some of these over-the-top scenes seems to enthusiastically poke fun in a satirical way at the blood-lusting violence associated with ice hockey,
While dimwit Doug is a highly volatile player his blossoming relationship with local girl Eva played by Alison Pill turns him into a mushy lovesick puppy who longs for affection and most of all acceptance. She somewhat reluctantly succumbs to his innocent childlike charms.
While there is enough violence to satisfy the most demonic individuals, the characters of Doug and Eva are cleverly formulated and their romantic liasions and dialogue is engaging and believable.
The film builds up to an inevitable showdown with arch nemesis Ross Rhea played by the intimidating Liev Schrieber in the last game of the season. Rhea is the experienced hard-hitting thug while Doug is the pretender to his throne.
This film has some laughs, romance, gore and lots of action and it pokes fun at itself which is refreshing but despite this the laugh-out-loud moments are a little thin on the ground to really inspire.
The film is relatively enjoyable, fast-faced and unforgiving. However it lacks real humorous bite to mark it out as memorable cinema viewing.
Rating 4 out of 10