On February 24, 2012, actor Sean William Scott (you may know him from silver screen classics such as American Pie and The Dukes of Hazard) will be staring in a hockey movie titled, Goon. The IMDB synopsis reads:
Labelled an outcast by his brainy family, a bouncer overcomes long odds to lead a team of under performing misfits to semi-pro hockey glory, beating the crap out of everything that stands in his way.
The preview for Goon, written by Canadian actor, Jay Baruchel, shows how Scott ‘s character, Doug Glatt, punches out a hockey player who climbs into the stands to attack his friend. From that moment, Glatt becomes a local hero and he receives a call to try out for the Halifax Highlanders, a minor league team. He has no skating or hockey skills and is depicted as the quintessential dumb “goon” who proceeds to beat up half of the hockey team at the try out. Long movie made short – he gets picked up for the sole purpose of fighting and transforms himself from the typical movie nobody into a somebody.
Given the tragic 2011 summer that hockey had I am pretty appalled that anyone would have the audacity to release a movie about hockey fighting, especially in its most stereotypical form. Now, obviously having not seen the movie yet, I suppose we can’t judge it fully, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say there isn’t much substance missing from the trailer. Oddly enough, Global Montreal (where Baruchel was born and raised) calls the film timely given “the current controversy over violence in sport”. Global also adds that director, Michael “Dowse pulls no punches in the brutally violent fight scenes, which are hilarious in a totally over-the-top kind of way – much like the raunchy, off-colour dialogue. While it’s not a film for the faint of heart, Goon is an instant classic for hockey fans and lovers of searing lowbrow humour.”
Perhaps, a February 2011 release would have made Goon a “hockey classic” but I am interested to see how the film will be received during a season where hockey fighting has been under constant scrutiny, and the role of the goon no longer fully exists. Goon appears to romanticize what hockey fighting is and can be without giving much credence to the litany of media and research that has come out proving otherwise.
9 thoughts on “Goon: A hockey movie with poor timing and taste”
Couldn’t agree more, Courtney. I will have to wait to pass judgement on the film itself (Slap Shot, for example, is about brawling but – I think – passes some subtle social commentary on its subject matter, and is an excellent film) but the timing of this, and its promotional slant, is poor timing/taste indeed.
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I’m not that much of a online reader to be honest but your blogs really nice, keep it up! I’ll go ahead and bookmark your website to come back later. Many thanks
Much appreciated Efren! Glad you enjoy our work.
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I loved Goon. I have watched it several times. I think the attraction for me is the very polite Doug Glatt character. I think the Hockey in Society take on this film may be too academic for a film whose intent was not to provide any social message but to purely be entertaining, which for me it was.
Hi humanfactor! Thanks for reading and commenting. I have no doubt that Goon is entertaining. Hockey itself is entertaining but just because there is no social message ‘intended’ it doesn’t mean that one doesn’t exist. Music videos, movies, and television are all guilty of producing messages both intended and unintended. I will admit that I never got around to watching Goon but a couple of the other writers here have https://hockeyinsociety.com/2012/03/11/understanding-goon-nice-guys-finish-first/#more-818