Not content with his job as a bouncer, Doug Glatt (Seann William Scott) dreams of a more rewarding job and gaining his parents respect. When a chance encounter with an on-ice thug leads to a fistfight that Doug easily wins, the on-looking coach sees Doug's potential, in spite of his lack of any hockey playing ability. Joining the team and with the encouragement of his best friend (Jay Baruchel), Doug quickly becomes a rising star. Soon he'll have the opportunity to face-off against the infamous league thug, Ross Rhea (Liev Schreiber), perhaps finally land a girlfriend and stick to a job he enjoys. Now all he needs to do is learn to skate.
Seann William Scott packed on some pounds for his role in Goon
, and the extra weight jibes well with his comic instincts--he's had to ramp down his antic American Pie
goof to fit the bulky, dull-witted protagonist of this off-the-wall picture. Scott plays Doug Glatt, whose thickheadedness may be a disappointment to his brainy family (Eugene Levy cameos as dad) but serves him awfully well in the role of hockey "enforcer." You know the type: not much of a skater, can't get the puck in the net, but if you need someone to come off the bench and lay an elbow into somebody's cheekbone, Doug Glatt is your guy. The amusing and impressive thing about the movie is that the script (by costar Jay Baruchel and Evan Goldberg) posits Doug not as a meanie but as a puzzled innocent who really, sincerely wants to help his team. Alison Pill is just right as the groupie touched by his dazed sweetness, and Liev Schreiber absolutely shines as hockey's most legendary tough guy, a weathered goon-among-goons whose badassery is announced in his giant Fu Manchu mustache. The movie aims for a tricky blend, and director Michael Dowse doesn't always make it: we're supposed to laugh at the exaggerated characters, but also eventually care about them, too. Oh, and there's also an enormous amount of blood-spilling and bone-cracking. Thanks to the generally jovial air and Scott's skillful performance, the patches of ice don't seriously slow this movie down. --Robert Horton