|SHADOWS ON THE WALL | REVIEWS | NEWS | FESTIVAL | AWARDS | Q&A | ABOUT | TALKBACK|
|Goon: Last of the Enforcers|
dir Jay Baruchel
scr Jay Baruchel, Jesse Chabot
prd Jay Baruchel, David Gross, Andre Rouleau
with Seann William Scott, Alison Pill, Wyatt Russell, Liev Schreiber, Callum Keith Rennie, Marc-Andre Grondin, Elisha Cuthbert, Jay Baruchel, Kim Coates, Richard Clarkin, Jason Jones, TJ Miller
release Can 17.Mar.17, US 1.Sep.17, UK 8.Sep.17
Bruised and Battered: Schreiber and Scott
|R E V I E W B Y R I C H C L I N E|
Sadly, this sequel completely misses what made the original so good. As a follow-up to the superb 2012 comedy, it definitely feels the absence of director Michael Dowse and cowriter Evan Goldberg. Broader, sillier and nastier, this film uses its outrageous humour as the joke rather than basing it around characters and situations. And the formulaic plot doesn't help.
In Halifax, dim-witted tough guy hockey player Doug (Scott) finally meets his match in cocky newcomer Anders (Russell), son of Doug's new team owner Hiram (Rennie). Injured and with his his wife Eva (Pill) expecting, Doug retires to take a soul-crushing job selling insurance. So Hiram brings Anders in to take Doug's place as tea captain. This pushes Doug to consult with his old rival Ross (Schreiber) to secretly get back in shape. And with the team in trouble, his old mates are thrilled to have him back.
Basically, there's little left of what made the original an offbeat classic. As director-cowriter, Baruchel loses grip on the perspective, instead indulging in cartoonish humour and unfounded sentimentality. There are also corny thematic elements as Doug and his pal Xavier (Grondin) begin feeling like they're not as fast or as tough as they used to be. This is also why Doug and Ross gravitate to the Bruised & Battered circuit: hockey fights without the hockey. And the message is that beating someone to a pulp is cathartic.
Scott is solid as the hangdog simpleton with a heart of gold, unable to grasp the cynicism around him. Alas, the script ignores his relationships. Pill suffers the most from this approach, as Eva becomes a simplistic sidekick. Russell brings muscly edge to his one-note thug, but never has a chance to create a proper character. Anders' only purpose is to thoughtlessly fight with Doug, an antagonist without a cause.
The primary mistake is trying to force this premise into a trite storyline, complete with melodramatic plot points. By focussing on this uninvolving narrative rather than the colourful characters, the movie loses its point of connection with the audience. So everything that happens feels artificial and pointless. And also painfully predictable. Where the original movie continually surprised us with likeable people in ridiculous situations, this sequel plays it painfully straight, falling back on tired gags to distract from the dull story. Doug deserved a lot better than this.
|R E A D E R R E V I E W S|
|Still waiting for your comments ... don't be shy.|
© 2017 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall
HOME | REVIEWS | NEWS | FESTIVAL | AWARDS | Q&A | ABOUT | TALKBACK