Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Review: Goon (2)

CAUTION: Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.

Goon poster

90 mins / Dir. Michael Dowse

...oh, you didn't think that was my actual review, did you?

And so, January is here. In addition to the self-indulgent last-minute offerings for the Oscars, the traditional post-Christmas release pattern in the UK is for the fucking drivel the studios can't put out at any other time of year because they can't compete with mainstream blockbusters. And there are so many of those that January becomes the graveyard shift for movies.
And 2012 is no exception.

Goon is weak. How weak? Look at the poster up there. Go on, click on it and have a look.

Imagine you're in charge of the UK marketing for this one. An also-ran ice hockey comedy starring That Stiffler. I'm not saying that no-one in the UK is into Canadian Ice Hockey, but it is, at best a minority sport. Add in the cinematic qualities of this particular gem, and your only real hope is to market it for the violence. Hence the poster-quotes from Loaded, Nuts, and some website I've never heard of*1. So, apart from the barrel-scraping demographic they're aiming at, even the people who "loved" this film could only bring themselves to give it 4 out of 5. Talk about damning with faint praise.

As for the film itself, as my other*2 review said, it's not really about ice hockey, and even though I know next-to-nothing about it, I get the impression that it's about as faithful to the game as Jurassic Park is to genetic research. The opening act seems to zip by (presumably) months in Doug Glatt's life, where a guy who can't skate somehow gets a place on a hockey team. The main thread of the film comes in fits and starts as we stutter over Rhea's 12-match (ie 12 week?) suspension. Glatt's family are seemingly abandoned half way through the film, and Jay Baruchel's Pat only returns because Baruchel co-wrote the film and wanted to get his face in at the end.

Seann William Scott does bring some charm to the film, but I've seen that so many times before it doesn't really matter any more. Shcreiber's nowhere near as aggressive or wily as his character requires him to be, and he just seems bored for the whole thing. Everyone else stumbles through and phones-in performances, including Eugene Levy as Jewish Dad™, and Jay Baruchel as Swearing, Excited Geek™.

It's not consistently funny enough to be a comedy, and there's not enough feeling for it to be a drama, even when the blood's spraying across the ice. I can imagine it going down slightly better with an actual hockey-crowd, but for the UK market, this should have been straight-to-DVD.

It's not the worst thing I've ever seen (and I'm sure I'll see worse this year), but if you get anything of substance out of it, I salute you.


*2 No offence to heyuguys, I just really haven't heard of you. I'll check you out but, y'know. I only wish you'd been brought to my attention by being quoted over a better film.
*2 It was a piss-take. Don't quote me on the fucking DVD packaging.

• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.

• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organizations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

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