Star enforcer Doug Glatt (Seann William Scott) is made the captain of the Halifax Highlanders as a reward for his service to the team. However, in the opening game of the season, Doug receives a career-threatening injury from opposing enforcer Anders Cain (Wyatt Russell), who happens to be the son of the Highlander’s new GM Hyrum Cain (Callum Keith Rennie), who ends up adding Anders to the team as Doug’s replacement. Doug is now left to work a menial job and care for his pregnant wife, Eva (Alison Pill). Desperate to return to his team, Doug seeks the guidance of former rival Ross Rhea (Liev Schreiber), in order to learn to fight with his uninjured arm.
Michael Dowse’s 2011 hockey comedy Goon was a quite enjoyable mix of the dim-wittedness of lead character Doug Glatt and a boxing film like structure, which focused on the ultra-violent hockey fights. Co-writer Jay Baruchel steps into the director’s chair for this sequel, which brings back most of the cast from the original, including star player Xavier LaFlamme (Marc-André Grondin), hot-headed coach Ronnie Hortense (Kim Coates), and Doug’s crude and foul-mouthed best friend Pat (Baruchel). New faces in the film include Callum Keith Rennie as win-hungry GM Hyrum Cain, Wyatt Russell as main antagonist Anders Cain, Elisha Cuthbert as Eva’s perpetually drunk friend Mary and T.J. Miller as possibly the worst sportscaster in the world.
Goon is probably a film that didn’t really need a sequel and it doesn’t really help that Jay Baruchel opted to go way over the top with this follow-up. While Seann William Scott is still quite charming and funny in the lead role of Doug Glatt, the plot of the film ends up being a carbon copy of the original, except way more overblown. Instead of the first film, which had up-and-coming Doug Glatt against grizzled veteran Ross Rhea, Goon: Last of the Enforcers introduces cartoonish hothead Anders Cain, who is a product of nepotism from his former hockey star father, and spends more time in the penalty box than scoring goals. In addition, this film opts to reintroduce a post-retirement Ross Rhea as being part of a hockey fighting competition that focuses on everything except the hockey. Then there are the fights in the film, which go way over the top with the level of blood and gore, often leaving large red pools in the middle of the hockey rink.
While the original film had its fair amount of bloodshed, the level of violence in Goon: Last of the Enforcers comes off as a little too much, with the film celebrating an aspect of hockey that should probably be deemphasized in this day and age. On top of all that, the film goes quite far with crude body humour and gay jokes, which become quite groan worthy to watch.
While it would be unfair to say Goon: Last of the Enforcers is a terrible film, it is definitely a major step down from Michael Dowse’s original. This can be particularly seen in how both Marc-André Grondin and Alison Pill are much less prominent this time around, as they take a backseat to the film’s celebration of hockey violence.
Is Goon: Last of the Enforcers opening weekend worthy?
If you are a fan of the bloody fights of the first film and/or “rock’em,sock’em” hockey in general, than there is stuff in Goon: Last of the Enforcers to like. However, you can also take a different route and go seek out Hello Destroyer, which provides a much more interesting message about hockey’s violent culture.
Goon: Last of the Enforcers opens Friday, March 17, 2017 at Cineplex locations. Check their website for more information.