Here at the Shattered Lens, Leonard Wilson is our resident hockey expert. He can tell you all about the in and outs of the game in general and the New York Rangers in specific.
Myself, I know very little about hockey. Here’s what I do know:
- It’s played on the ice and with a puck.
- There are a lot of fights.
- All of my Canadian friends love it.
- It’s a sport that is mentioned many times on Degrassi.
- Two hockey players won the 22nd season of The Amazing Race.
- Back in 2011, I followed Arleigh’s suggestion and watched a hockey movie called Goon. Surprisingly, I really, really liked it.
Six years ago, I started my review of Goon by admitting that I didn’t know anything hockey so not much has changed. However, while I still may not know much about hockey, I am currently obsessed with the Winter Olympics. And, of course, hockey is a big part of the Winter Games. Since I’m currently watching movies about winter sports, today seemed like the perfect time to watch 2016’s Goon: The Last of The Enforcers and get caught up on the story of Doug Glatt.
Who is Doug Glatt? As played by Seann William Scott, Doug Glatt is probably one of the nicest guys that you could ever hope to meet. He’s not particularly smart. He’s the type who responds to almost comment with a slightly confused smile. He tend to take things literally. But he’s a genuinely sweet guy and it’s impossible not to like him.
Except, of course, when he’s on the ice. Doug is a semi-pro hockey player, playing for the Halifax Highlanders. Even his biggest fans will admit that Doug isn’t the best hockey player of all time. However, no one can throw a punch like he can. Doug’s an enforcer. His specialty is beating up the opposing team. When his coach (Kim Coates) needs to intimidate the other team, he sends Doug out with orders to beat someone up. Doug has no problem breaking someone’s nose but he usually apologizes afterward. He’s known as The Thug.
Doug is married to Eva (Allison Pill), who loves hockey but, now that she’s pregnant, she worries about Doug getting seriously injured. These worries come true when Doug gets into a fight with Anders Cain (Wyatt Russell), a fearsome enforcer on another team. (Anders just happens to be the son of the owner of the Highlanders.) Cain not only leaves Doug crumpled up on the ice but he also injures Doug’s right shoulder, making it difficult for Doug to throw a punch with his right hand. It appears that Doug’s playing days are over. Doug ends up working in the storage room of an insurance company while the Highlanders continue on without him. Adding insult to injury, Anders is soon signed by the Highlanders and given Doug’s old position as team captain.
As much as Doug tries to move on, he keeps finding himself drawn back to hockey. When he runs into a former rival, Ross Rhea (Liev Schreiber), who is now making a living as a glorified gladiator, Doug realizes that he can learn how to fight with his left fist. But with Eva not wanting him to fight anymore, Doug is forced to decide which team he’s going to play for, the Highlanders or his family?
Especially when compared to the first Goon, Goon: Last of the Enforcers is an extremely busy film. Beyond Doug trying to adjust to life off the ice, the film also deals with Anders Cain’s relationship with his father, the locker room shenanigans of the Highlanders, Ross Rhea’s attempt to make a comeback, and the antics of obnoxious sports reporter Chad Bailey (T.J. Miller). That’s a lot for one film to deal with and it’s not surprising that the end result is an uneven mishmash of raunchy comedy and sports-themed melodrama. Whereas the first Goon worked because it kept things simple and sincere, Goon: Last of the Enforcers is way too complicated for its own good.
That said, as played by Seann William Scott, Doug is just as likable as he was in the first film and Scott and Allison Pill still make for an adorable couple. In fact, the entire cast does a pretty good job, especially Wyatt Russell and Liev Schreiber. The film doesn’t really work but, for fans of the first film, it’s still enjoyable enough. If nothing else, it’s nice to see how things work out for Doug Glatt.