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Review: Goon

Ode to the brawl
By BETSY SHERMAN  |  April 12, 2012
3.0 3.0 Stars

A Slapshot-worshipping, proudly raunchy ode to hockey's enforcers, Goon repeats a mock-poetic motif of blood and teeth wafting slo-mo towards the ice. But it's more than just a hilariously giddy celebration of brawling. The Canadian trio of director Michael Dowse and writers Evan Goldberg (Superbad) and Jay Baruchel put solid craftsmanship into the coming-of-age story of Doug (Seann William Scott), an amiable, glacially-witted bouncer who lucks into a spot on a minor-league team. Prized for his fists rather than his stick-handling, Doug is tasked with protecting a star player lately brutalized by the league's reigning goon (Liev Schreiber). His greatest challenge is standing up for himself off the ice. To his disappointed, high-achieving parents, Doug offers, "I've got fist smarts." In movies like this, it's common for the colorful ensemble to outshine the star, but Scott gives a wonderfully economical performance that anchors this fast-paced outing.

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