Review for Goon 2: The Last Of The Enforcers
Goon 2: Last of the Enforcers is a sequel to the 2011 film and reunites most of the cast of that film on the story of Doug 'The Thug' Glatt, who is the star of the Halifax Highlanders ice hockey team. Doug is an Enforcer which is more or less a hockey player on the rink to fight. During a brutal game he is destroyed by a player Anders Cain and finally decides to retire, sell insurance and come to terms with married life with a baby on the way.
However, the pull to the ice is too great and a chance encounter with his idol Ross 'The Boss' Rhea in a late night 'Hockey Fighting League' he learns to fight with his left hand and gets his desire back to get back in the rink. This comes when Anders Cain has taken over as Captain of the Highlanders and they are on a massive losing streak. Joining the team they start winning again, but this leads to a massive confrontation between Doug and Anders which will leave the ice a bloodbath.
I never saw the original film and really nothing about it appealed to me. However, after watching the sequel I was curious to go back and view it. This film was strangely endearing. I don't know if it's just that Sean William Scott plays such an appealing character or simply the setups that the film features throughout. The inclusion of T.J. Miller as a terrible sportscaster has an almost Ron Burgundy-feel and every few scenes he would appear with just a quick one-liner which leads to utter despair by his co-host real-life sportscaster James Duthie.
It is a very generic typical sports story told a million times of the player who loses his confidence or loses a game only to comeback to glory. We have seen this a million times and often it doesn't work, but here it does. The cast are excellent and the comedy moments come thick and fast. I would say my only issue with the film is that at times it tries to be too OTT and the use of profanity undercuts some scenes of genuine humour.
The moments between Doug and his wife played by Alison Pill are nice, but they are few and far between and really that should have been a stronger element to the film. Doug's experience working in insurance is hilarious, but leant a bit too much into Office Space-lite territory and really should have gone all out or not at all.
The action on the ice is filmed well and considering this is Director Jay Baruchel's debut it is impressive. If there had been more focus on this and less on backstage crudity it may have made the film better. The other part that is slightly disappointing is the journey of Doug down and then back up is just too simple and really there should have been more twists and turns. However, the ending is a perfect payoff and I was left satisfied with it all.
Extras include Fifteen minutes of "B-Roll" which is a mixture of behind the scenes footage and outtakes which are placed with no rhyme of reason. This would have been better as just a set of bloopers and outtakes as the ones that appear during the end credits of the film are all hilarious. Instead this just feels like a feature cobbled together without any thought put into why we should want to watch it.
They also include a "Cast and Crew" Interview only featuring the cast with stars talking about the making of the film. Those interviewed are Sean William Scott. Alison Pill and then Alison and Elisha Cuthbert together.Marc-Andre Gondin. Liev Schreiber. Kim Coates. Richard Clarkin. George Tchortov. Jonathan Cherry. Karl Graboshas. Trent Pardy. Wyatt Russell. Callum Keith Rennie. T.J. Miller.
These are all part of a long feature which is a bit strange and they should have separated them. Everyone talks about the film with affection and you can tell that everyone has enjoyed working on the film and that shows in the finished product.
There is then a long half hour interview with Writer/Director Jay Baruchel which is interesting and this is quite clearly a film he is proud of. I would say that it would probably have been better as an audio commentary as there is over two hours of interviews here and it could easily have filled a commentary track for the film which may have been easier to watch. Baruchel is a little dry at times in his stories and unless you are a fan of the film or his work you may not be able to sit through the whole of this.
Goon 2: Last of the Enforcers is a good film, I'm just not sure whether it is great or not. At times the humour is spot on with some genuine laughs, but then at times I felt myself rolling my eyes at the continuous swearing and I'm someone who loves a good swearfest. The relationships between the characters are great and it is so surprising seeing people like Liev Schreiber returning after starring in the Oscar-winning Spotlight for what is essentially a B-Movie and I almost didn't recognise Elisha Cuthbert as Alison Pill's sister. If you enjoyed the original, you will enjoy this and even if you hadn't (like me) you will find a lot of warmth in this film that certainly won't send you to the sin bin.