Seann William Scott Impressively Nails Role in Biopic of Unskilled Hockey Enforcer
An independent Canadian film about hockey would appear to be the butt of several jokes. But when Michael Dowse’s Goon finally arrives in the United States on March 30th, there will be indeed laughs in any and every screening of Goon, but none of those laughs will stem from jabs or parting jokes about Canada or its favorite pastime. Instead, audiences can expect to have a lot of fun being entertained by Seann William Scott, Liev Schreiber, and Jay Baruchel in a riotously raunchy comedy based upon the real life story of an unskilled hockey player who became legend playing one of the world’s fastest sports.
It is a film that the trio of Scott, Schreiber, and Baruchel are perfectly cast in -- so perfect, it would actually not be a joke to at least suggest Goon
as an Academy contender in passing. In fact, Rescue Me
star and avid hockey nut Dennis Leary tweeted last week that Goon
has effectively ended the Oscar race for 2013’s Best Film and both Best Actor categories before it ever began. If anything, Goon
has already earned the hearts and minds of the nation it so eagerly represents, recently topping Canadian box offices shortly after its release in the Great White North.
A biopic based upon the life and times of Doug Smith -- a minor league hockey player recruited solely for his pugilistic prowess and efficient ability to knock some teeth out -- Goon definitely has the potential to join the ranks of some of the greatest North American sports films ever made. If anything, Goon’s entertainment value is through the roof -- so high in the sky that Americans will have a hard time not falling in love with the film. That is saying a lot, considering our views of Canadians and hockey here in the Lower 48.
And it is not just the gruesome blood, incessantly raunchy dialog, or rampant violence that will attract Americans to this comedic take of Canada’s favorite pastime. Quiet honestly, that blood, raunchiness, and violence serves the film very well -- not only to appease us hot-blooded Americans, but also to honor one of hockey’s most entertaining elements. However, Goon is much more than just about being palatable for Americans or (almost accurately) depicting hockey’s fighting culture. Instead, a greater purpose is told by film’s end: life is not about living with tunnel vision, but instead about discovering purpose whilst maintaining a commitment and loyalty to something greater than oneself.
From an acting standpoint, Mr. Scott is mind-bogglingly phenomenal in his rendition of the realistically fabled enforcer, bringing to life on the big screen an affably lovable character who is easier to root for than Manny Pacquiao or that chubby underdog battling against a mean bully on the final throw of a playground dodge ball match. For those who are more cinematically inclined, think of Mr. Scott’s rendition of Doug Glatt the Enforcer as Albert Brennaman’s pursuit Allegra Cole. Outside of the hockey rink, Mr. Scott is charmingly funny, dishing out perfectly timed -- and memorable -- one-liners.
Rising up to the task and equaling Mr. Scott’s masterful performance is Mr. Schreiber, portraying the enforcer who Mr. Scott’s character has to personally surpass in order to have the torch passed to him as the game’s greatest pugilist. Mr. Schreiber is so scary good and convincing as an enforcer that it's easy to forget he is an actor and instead confuse him as a hockey player plucked off an ice-rink in Halifax and immediately thrown onto a Hollywood movie set.
Mr. Baruchel may be a little rough for certain audiences to handle as the loud-mouth and profanity-laden Ryan, though the young film star squarely fits within the overall spirit of Dowse’s vision. While Scott and Schreiber will certainly steal a lot of the limelight, a pair of other actors in Kim Coates and Marc-Andre Grondin also deliver memorable performances that should not be overlooked. Mr. Coates is perfect as the slick yet tough head coach, while Mr. Grondin is entertaining as the token Primadonna superstar, unhappy with his lot in life. Alison Pill provides a welcomed love story as Doug Glatt’s love interest, while Mr. Scott’s American Pie co-star, Eugene Levy, makes a worthy cameo.
Shot on location in Manitoba and already a fan favorite in Canada, Goon opens in the United States on March 30, 2012. The film is Rated R; running time is 92 minutes.
For Fans of: Speedy Singhs, Miracle, Slap Shot, The Mighty Ducks, Happy Gilmore
Why We Like It: Top-notch acting, high entertainment value, chemistry amongst actors, comedy