“Goon” is cinema’s love letter to hockey enforcers
Hockey movies fall into two categories generally, they either go down as iconic (“Slap Shot” “Miracle”) or they go down in flames (“The Love Guru”). You can chalk up “Goon” as being an iconic film of its own.
One of the stars of the movie is Liev Schreiber, who plays the movie’s antagonist Ross “The Boss” Rhea, says it’s hard to do a hockey movie the right way and to do something no one’s seen before.
“How do you do a hockey movie fresh? How do you add anything to the anthology of hockey movies? One thing that Jay [Baruchel] really defines this movie with is the heart. That’s the one thing people don’t often talk about when they talk about hockey,” says Schreiber.
“I think it’s also something that defines hockey players. There’s a very strict code, especially among enforcers, of how you treat each other and you leave it all on the ice. Respect.”
Schreiber’s character Rhea plays the foil to Seann William Scott’s Doug Glatt and while you might be able to say that Rhea is the villain, that’s not the way Schreiber sees it.
“I, personally, would disagree highly in saying Ross is a villain,” Schreiber says with a laugh.
“Guys like Probert, Georges Laraque, Donald Brashear, Dave Schultz… It was impactful to read about these guys’ lives and the misperception of them both as not hockey players and as goons. I think that’s part of what hurts for those guys.
“They give so much of their bodies and their lives to the game… I don’t know how many of them want to be remembered as purely enforcers or goons. I think a lot of those guys were great hockey players and that’s how they should be remembered.”
If it sounds like big talk for what’s a comedic movie, you’d be missing the point. “Goon” is a funny and violent film with enough bad language to make a sailor proud, but what’s hockey without all that?
“Goon” is a movie made by hockey fans (Director Michael Dowse and writer/co-star Jay Baruchel) with a metric ton of heart and it shows in how it plays out. Passing on watching this one would be a mistake.
“Goon” is currently available on Video On Demand and will hit theaters on March 30.