Vulgar, crude, totally Canadian hockey
We all remember the obnoxious and sexually-charged high school bully “Stifler,” made infamous by the 1999 hit comedy American Pie. Now, he’s back and looking to dish out the pain again — this time, on skates.
Goon, written by Canadians Jay Baruchel and Evan Goldberg, is based on the novel Goon: The True Story of an Unlikely Journey into Minor League Hockey, penned in 2002 by Adam Frattasio and Doug Smith. Michael Dowse of Fubar fame manned the director’s chair on the film.
The highly anticipated Canadian hockey flick Goon stars Sean William Scott as Doug Glatt in the true hard-knock story based on the life of Doug Smith — the former pro who pursued major league dreams despite the fact that he didn’t strap on skates until the age of nineteen. Glatt is introduced to the film as a bouncer looking for a place to belong with his Ivy League educated parents and recently out of the closet, soon to be doctor brother.
Fortunately, opportunity comes calling at Glatt’s door. While on the ice, he punches out a player escaped from the penalty box, about to attack his friend Ryan, played by Canadian funny guy Jay Baruchel, following some potty-mouthed comments from the peanut gallery.
During the altercation, the coach of the opposing team notices Glatt’s talent with the fisticuffs and gives him a long awaited place to fit in — the rink. The only difference between this and his job as a bouncer is he’s now enforcing on the ice. The immediate comparison that comes to mind with a film like Goon is the hockey cult-classic Slapshot (1977) starring the late Paul Newman.
But if you’re looking for a new take on the story of a hard-nosed hockey club with a little bit of heart, prepare to sacrifice a tooth, because Goon isn’t for the faint of heart. With Goon, the viewer is privy to more blood, goals, flair, heart and ultimately, an abundance of the Canadian essence that has made hockey fans want to lace up the skates for centuries to hit the pond for a game of shinny.
In Slapshot, the home team suceeded by brutally beating challengers to a pulp every chance they got. In Goon, the story revolves around the team’s reliance on Glatt to provide a spark by dropping the gloves — but the team doesn’t win through the utter force of a punch; rather, through the brotherhood that the fights stand for.
He may hardly be able to skate and a far cry from the team’s most skilled player, but when it comes down to it, Glatt’s character speaks to the necessity of an “enforcer” for team spirit and morale.
When all is said and done, the blood spilt and the teeth split, Goon is a fantastic movie because it shows the pain required to win the big game, while also showing the inevitable glory a team experiences when every piece of the hockey puzzle fits together — and that’s just the Canadian way.