It’s days/movies like this that I am glad I started doing this last year. Here we are with a movie that I’ve been meaning to watch for a while now. It’s been in my Netflix queue for what feels like years and for whatever reason I never watched. I’ve read and heard good things about it. I like all the people involved with it, and still never got around to it. I even had 30 spots last year that I didn’t use. This year I knew I wanted to finally watch it, but still it took my 28 days to do so. Which is terrible – because of how much I loved today’s movie – the 2011 hockey comedy, Goon.
Throughout the rest of the year, I don’t find myself watching a lot of movies. TV? Oh sure, a ton of that – but actual feature films? Not so much, which is why I started doing this last year. And as I mentioned before, these are the days I’m happy I did. Now, I can FINALLY say that I watched this movie and now I can FINALLY be a fan of this movie and enjoy it and watch it again.
The plot is pretty basic – yet based on a true story! Doug Glatt, played by Sean William Scott, is a bouncer in Orangetown, Massachusetts with a head as hard as a rock and hands even harder. One night he goes to a local minor league hockey game with his best friend Pat, played by Jay Baruchel, who taunts one of the visiting players to the point where the player hops over the glass and goes to confront Pat – and then gets the crap beat out of him by Doug, much to the delight of the crowd and the local team’s coach.
Just like that, Doug is brought in for a try out, and although he can barely skate, he ends up beating up a handful of players that were giving him the hard time. The coach had seen enough and offered a spot on the team to Doug. During that time he helps teach Doug to skate well enough to not be embarrassing – and Doug kicks enough ass to get noticed by the coach’s brother – and coach of an actual Canadian minor league team (I’m assuming one step down from the big time).
Doug ends up joining the Halifax Highlanders, a team with some young players trying to make a name for themselves, some aging players trying to hold one, at least one guy there only to pay his way through school, and a former high draft pick/star named Xavier LaFlamme. LaFlamme was big time in the major leagues, but after a hit from aging enforcer Ross Rhea, he became much more tentative and eventually was shipping down to the minors to get his shit together.
Am I just summarizing this entire movie? It would appear so.
Meanwhile, Rhea himself (played by the always good Liev Schreiber) finds himself back in the minors after a cheap shot left him suspended and later sent down, where he plans to play out his final days on the ice.
Our hero, Doug, is there to protect LaFlamme, whether he likes it or not, and of course our final moments of this movie pit Ross Rhea’s Shamrocks against Doug Glatt’s Highlanders. If the Highlanders win, they’re in the playoffs….
How does it all unfold? Hell, I’ve already said too much – watch the damn movie.
I’m a sucker for a good sports movie. I enjoy the eccentricities of the various teammates, the camaraderie that forms between them, and the drama of the game that is set before them. This movie brings all those things together – and the outcome isn’t to win the championship – it’s only just to get into the playoffs – very reminiscent of the original Major League.
This might be the most I’ve ever liked Sean William Scott. I’m not saying I’ve ever disliked him – even though so many of his characters are supposed to be smarmy pricks – he’s always made me laugh. This time around, he plays it very differently. He’s tough but nice, dimwitted but very genuine. It almost reminds me of Forrest Gump, where he knows what he doesn’t know, but he does the best with what he has.
One thing I didn’t mention in my plot summary are some of the supporting roles in this. I did mention Jay Baruchel earlier, as his best friend Pat, but what I didn’t mention was that he also was a producer for the movie and one of the screenwriters – AND – this is the second movie this month that he’s been in – though the first one was just his voice.
Besides Baruchel (who I’ve liked since the days of Undeclared), it was nice to see Eugene Levy as Doug’s adopted dad (even though he does not approve of him playing hockey and is never shown coming around to like it) and Allison Pill as Doug’s love interest, a girl who likes hockey AND hockey players, but with Doug, well as she put’s it – he makes her not want to sleep with a bunch of guys. I know – how romantic. Also, as a huge Sons of Anarchy fan, was great to see the always intimidating Kim Coates as the Highlanders’ head coach.
A few things of note:
- The Doug in this movie is from Orangetown, MA. I know there is an Orange, MA, but as far as I can tell, Orangetown is a fictitious city (not sure if it is modeled after Orage in anyway).
- This is actually my second Allison Pill movie in a row this month. She played a small role in yesterday’s movie, Snowpiercer.
- I mentioned earlier that this movie was based on a true story. The real guy is named Doug Smith, and he co-wrote the 2002 book about his hockey experiences called Goon: The True Story of an Unlikely Journey into Minor League Hockey (which must be out of print considering that price on amazon). The real Doug played minor league hockey for 7 seasons – but only 60 games total. He went on to coach hockey fighting (and defending yourself) for the Boston Bruins, still coaches people on it today, and has been a member of the Hanson, MA Police Department since 1999. Stick around through the credits to see a bit of the real Doug in action.
There is something to be said for timing. I mentioned that for a while now this movie has been on my radar, but I never took the time to watch it. Then today, I finally put it on and am SO happy that I did. Afterwards, I started looking things up about the movie, which lead me to this tweet, just 6 days ago.
— Jay Baruchel (@BaruchelNDG) June 19, 2015
Seriously!? All this time I’ve put off watching this movie, then I finally do and I find out that RIGHT NOW they are shooting the sequel!? The tweet was sent out by Jay Baruchel (@BaruchelNDG) on June 22nd (while I was busy watching a not-good movie). This time Baruchel is not only one of the writers, and actors in the movie, but he will also be making his directorial debut. I love that I just discover and fall in love with this movie, and in the same day find out that I am going to get to enjoy these characters again!
And if timing is right – you may just see a blog post about it next year…Except a lot sooner than day 28.