Two Rules, Man: Stay Away From My Percocets, and Do You Have Any Percocets?
I haven’t seen that much of my friend Jordan over the course of the last year, but the two times that we did get together he used the time to beat me over the head and penis with his affection for today’s movie. He may not have officially requested that I review the movie, but that kind of ringing endorsement makes me feel that it’s a necessity. I still wasn’t willing to go out of my way to find the movie though. When I walked into a Wal-Mart today and saw the movie on the main page of a RedBox, it seemed like God was speaking to me and saying, “It is time.” And I’m not one to argue with God. That could end badly for me. And so, with God’s blessings, I bring you my review of Goon, written by Evan Goldberg and Jay Baruchel, directed by Michael Dowse, and starring Seann William Scott, Marc-Andre Grondin, Liev Schreiber, Kim Coates, Alison Pill, Jay Baruchel, Ricky Mabe, Eugene Levy, and David Paetkau.
Doug Glatt (Seann William Scott) is a bouncer with no real direction in his life and, because of this, he’s somewhat of a disappointment to his father (Eugene Levy), though possibly not more of a disappointment to his father than his gay brother Ira (David Paetkau). Doug attends a hockey game with his friend Pat (Jay Baruchel), who angers one of the visiting players enough to make him call Pat a “faggot” and attempt to attack him. To defend his friend and his brother’s honor, Doug beats the player senseless to try to get him to take back the f-word he used. This impresses the home team’s captain and he invites Doug to join the team, ignoring the fact that he can’t skate and has virtually no hockey skills. Eventually, his fighting skill gives his coach an idea. In the slightly more major leagues, a veteran enforcer named Ross “The Boss” Rhea (Liev Schreiber) gave a major concussion to a highly skilled prospect named Xavier Laflamme (Marc-Andre Grondin), leading to him being too afraid to play at his full skill level and also leading him into drugs and other such unsavory behaviors. Doug is taken to the Halifax Highlanders to protect Laflamme and help him get his confidence back.
As with most movies, this movie was nowhere near as funny as I was told it was. That may not sound like a ringing endorsement, but it is the truth. Though I didn’t find the movie laugh out loud funny, I must admit that I left the movie being fairly charmed by it. Early on in the movie, I did find myself a little resentful of the movie because I have heard Kevin Smith talking about his next movie that he’s making and it sounds an awful lot like this movie. And Seann William Scott and Ricky Mabe have both worked with Smith before. Not saying they copied the idea; saying they stole the idea! Okay, that’s not true. Though it sounds so much like Hit Somebody, I haven’t seen that movie yet. This movie is a pretty good sports movie, but not that many of the jokes really won with me. The only one that I remember Jordan spoiling for me was the part where the two Russian guys are making fun of their teammate’s mother, saying that her pussy is so tight that there’s no way she gave birth to a baby and ending it with, “You’re adopted.” This part was pretty funny, even though Jordan ruined it by doing a pretty solid impression of it. But that was the only part of the movie I found funny. The rest of the movie was amusing, but not much more than that. In fact, around the middle of the movie it seems to forget that it’s supposed to be a comedy, instead getting a little mopey and focusing on the relationship with Eva that I never really cared about. But, this is also a sports movie, and it definitely succeeds on that. You root for Doug from the word go, and are pretty happy to see things work out for him. When he gets injured around the end of the movie and the team finally comes together to throw down with the opposing team, it was entirely awesome. And when the inevitable showdown between Rhea and Doug happens, it’s built up to very well and was very satisfying.
Another thing that helped the movie was how well it was filmed. The violence felt real, the music always helped, and the director used lots of interesting camera techniques. The blood spurts in this movie are frequent and the wounds look real and not over the top. You even see a few lost teeth. The greater majority of the music did an excellent job of getting me amped up. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a montage with Rush’s “Working Man” playing under it, and that’s a problem. It was excellent. I was not a fan of whatever rap song the movie ended with, but that was after the movie was done anyway. And I really appreciated the innovative camera techniques they used in the movie. I’ve probably seen a camera looking like it was strapped to a person’s fist while punching another guy, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a hockey game from the perspective of the puck before.
I wasn’t all about the performances of this movie, but I wasn’t disappointed by them either. I appreciated that Seann William Scott seems like he put on a shit ton of weight and muscle for the role. He was friggin’ yoked. His performance didn’t really work for me though. I understand the reasoning behind playing the role super stupid, but it also meant that he wouldn’t be saying anything particularly funny or witty and all of his comedy would need to come simply from his stupidity. So that never worked. Alison Pill also didn’t do anything for me in the movie. She never did anything funny and, I can only assume, attempted to get comedy from saying things that are uncommon for women to say, like saying she likes to fuck a lot of guys. And, though she is cute, I never really believed somebody falling in love with her at first sight. Liev Schreiber worked for me though. He was definitely a badass, but made the cool choice to not play his character like a one dimensional bad guy character. He was a major antagonist in the movie, but he was also a really likeable guy and showed a great deal of respect for the main character. Jay Baruchel had some moments of funniness, but more often seemed like he was just trying too hard.
Though Goon didn’t work for me as a comedy, it did work for me as a movie in total. It was a good sports story with a lot of cool violence and interesting camera techniques, but the bulk of the movie was only somewhat amusing with few solid laughs. Some of the performances didn’t do a lot for me as well. But, by the end of the movie, I did find that it had charmed me and that I enjoyed the experience. If you go in with low comedic expectations, you’ll probably find it funny enough and I think that you’ll find it an enjoyable watch. I recommend this movie. And, since you can find it on a RedBox near you, there’s no reason you shouldn’t give it a shot. Goon gets “That’s the first win in a month!” out of “Greek fuckin’ underground gay porn hard!”
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