Movie review: Goon

By Columbus Alive
From the April 12, 2012 edition

I realize hockey can be a foreign language, even for some sports fans, so let me translate the role of the enforcer or “goon.”

His role on the team is simple. If an opposing player gets too rough with one of your skilled players, the enforcer will effectively beat the snot out of that opponent at the next opportunity. This prevents players from taking liberties with other team’s stars.

“Goon” is a sports comedy about one such player. Doug Glatt (Seann William Scott) is an exceptionally nice guy — to the point of being a little dumb — who happens to be pretty good with his fists.

This leads to an unexpected gig with a minor league hockey team — despite the fact that Doug is initially as graceful as a newborn foal on ice skates.

“Goon” is crude, remarkably violent and generally pretty damn great. It aims to be like films like “Slap Shot” (duh) and “Minor League,” and it usually succeeds.

If, like me, you’re a little leery of Scott, don’t be. He’s never been more sweetly charming. Think Chris Pratt on “Parks and Recreation.”

The knock is that the film tries to be a little of everything. There’s a sweet love story and too many inspiring sports plots. Overall, it wins in a TKO, though.