Sunday, April 1, 2012
The “Slap Shot” wannabe hockey comedy “Goon” stars the always-likable Seann William Scott as Doug Glatt, a bouncer who becomes the enforcer and unwitting hero of the minor-league Halifax Highlanders. Doug’s annoying best friend is played by Jay Baruchel, the movie’s co-writer, whose screen presence lacks any heft or appeal. Liev Schreiber channels Danny McBride as Ross Rhea, the most famous enforcer in the league, with whom Doug inevitably collides late in the season.
“Goon” has all the usual sports-movie tropes, from the climactic Big Game to the what-will-he-say-next announcer (after Fred Willard in “Best in Show,” this type should simply be retired). What it doesn’t have is nearly as many laughs as I’d hoped. Scott wrings most of these out of his small-town sweetness and naïve credulity, but can’t sustain the Rose Nylund act forever. The movie’s also a bit out of time, as rule changes have diminished the role of the designated goon and largely taken him out of the game.