Screening Room: GOON

(KTSF by Sean Au)

Even non-sports fans would have heard of the violence that exists in the professional hockey leagues, but GOON shows us how institutionalized violence is in the the game. Yet, just because you may not be a fan of violence in the movies, do not discount this movie just yet, for it comes with a heart, and plenty of laughs.

Young bouncer Doug (Seann William Scott) is good with his fists. Once, at a hockey game, he protected his friend from being beaten up by an “enforcer” (more on that later) of the opposing team. His strength has been witnessed by the local team coach, who offers Doug a chance to join the team in spite of his amateur skating skills on ice. It turns out that hockey teams employ ‘enforcers’ as part of their team to use physical force to prevent the opposing players from scoring. Enforcers also protect their own players from being attacked, allowing them to focus on the game. The fights in the rinks are even expected in the games. Bloodshed and loose teeth are common sights. Doug’s talent sends him to join the team in Halifax to help turn its fortune around. Can he survive the game?

I am not a sports fan so I can say that the movie shows me how institutionalized violence is in professional hockey and many other contact sports. GOON holds no punches to show the physical violence the sportsmen face every time they step into a rink. Enforcers face a variety of blunt force injuries whose worst takes the form of a concussion.

Yet, if you can get past the violence, the rags to riches story is actually very smartly written, peppered with hilarious moments and touching scenes. Mr Scott gives a sincere performance, dumbing down a whole lot while playing the role with a lot of heart. This gives the movie a strong emotional core. It is rare that you will like a violent on screen character.

GOON is in theatres now as well as through Video-On-Demand.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

Video courtesy of Magnet Releasing.

 

(Copyright 2012 KTSF. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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