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Goon: Last of the Enforcers – Movie Review

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Goon: Last of the Enforcers – Movie Review

Rating: C+ (Above Average)

Trailer/Thumbnail Courtesy eOne Films

There was little surprise when Goon resonated with ice hockey-loving Canadians, thanks to its winning humour and ensemble of wacky characters. Driving the plot was the rivalry between Seann William Scott’s Doug and Liev Schreiber’s Ross and the sweet romance that developed between Doug and Alison Pill’s Eva. The sequel leaves Jay Baruchel to his own devices as he makes his feature directing debut. While he more than shows some skill in the hockey sequences, the comedy sadly falls short. Goon: Last of the Enforcers mostly relies on obvious gags and gross-out jokes and the characters end up lost in the shuffle.

There was an oddball sort of charm in Goon, even as it took heavy inspiration from Slap Shot. That’s been traded this go around with lowest common denominator humour that doesn’t land. One can see Baruchel giggling to himself as he got to work on the screenplay, but the timing feels off on almost every occasion. The rare bits of laughter come from T.J. Miller’s seemingly ad-libbed remarks as a sports commentator quickly getting on his co-anchor’s nerves. Elisha Cuthbert also appears to be having fun as a frequently drunk best friend, though there is an almost serial quality to seeing her reunite with former Popular Mechanics for Kids co-host Baruchel on this particular project.

The new antagonists are flatly written with Wyatt Russell not quite bringing the proper humour and menace to his role as an extremely violent hockey player who suddenly switches teams. The other teammates are merely caricatures meant to fit into a specific box for the writers to throw as many sophomoric jokes at. A running gag with two Russian players frequently pulling pranks at their teammate gets old rather quickly. Not even teaming up Doug and Ross can spark some of the same magic seen in Goon. Baruchel’s Pat was one of the few irritating aspects of Goon and he is once again a nuisance in the sequel.

One of the few qualities retained from the first film is the relationship between Doug and Eva. Alison Pill is frequently a highlight of any movie she appears in and she again steals the show here. She’s an actress who is able to take even the most mundane material and make it work. Pill’s chemistry with Scott is well handled with him more than keeping up with her. The actual game scenes are also directed with the proper energy. Even if the timing of the jokes are off, Jay Baruchel and his director of photography Paul Sarossy know how to move the camera during these sequences and puts you into the thick of the sport. The violent punch-outs have also lost none of their intensity and extreme levels of gore.

Goon was such a winning combo of comedic ideas with ice hockey. That it proved to be the rare Canadian comedy to find cross-over appeal in the United States says a lot to its quality. The sequel is a disappointment, with a lot of the usual issues that mar follow ups to successful comedies. Even with the central romance still retaining that spark, the rest of Goon: Last of the Enforcers falls under the weight of its flat jokes and not quite knowing how to use its talented supporting cast. This will forever become just a curiousity piece for those who love the first film.

 

Stefan Ellison
THE SCENE


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