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Review: Goon: Last Of The Enforcers

Good hockey films are hard to come by, which made 2012’s indie comedy Goon such a wonderful surprise. Featuring a bevy of belly laughs alongside some vibrant hockey action, Goon found a cult audience for itself on VOD and Netflix, leading to talk of a potential sequel for quite some time.

After five years, Goon: Last of the Enforcers is finally here for fans clambering for more hockey goodness. Picking up where Goon left off, the film follows hockey goon Doug Glatt, who after a successful few years is faced with retirement after losing in a fight to rival Anders Cain. Looking to get back on track, he must team up with an old foe to get back into fighting form.

Like most sequels, this second time around in the world of Canadian hockey isn’t quite as funny or original as the first. Still, Last of the Enforcers features enough of the series’ notable raunch and heart to be worthwhile.

The big change from the first film to Enforcers is the change of directors. Gone is Michael Dowse and in comes Jay Baruchel, who also co-wrote both films. The long-time actor does a fairly solid job with his directorial debut, especially shinning when it comes to the hockey sequences. As a fan of hockey, Baruchel captures the violent brutality of the sport, as well as the majesty of sweeping power plays. These sequences are widely entertaining and stretch the limitations of the film’s small budget.blank

With most of the cast here being returning faces, everyone involved has a comfortable handle on the tone and material of the film. Sean William Scott is endearing as ever as Doug, continuing to sell the characters good-intentioned yet empty-minded charm effectively. Alison Phill, Liev Schreiber, and newcomer Wyatt Russell are all quite good as well in their respective roles.

Last of the Enforcers does feature the same charm as its predecessor. There are some problematic aspects with the film’s screenplay, but I appreciate the authenticity in approaching the film’s characters. Doug’s arc involving his pending retirement may be played out, but the execution of it is dramatically satisfying and earnestly told.

This is however an inferior film to the the original. The script, collaborated on by Baruchel and Jesse Chabot are only able to deliver a fraction of what the original does well. The material here just isn’t that funny, with the vulgar humor often being very hit-or-miss. Worst of all, the story for the most part is incredibly cliched and predictable, taking out some of the fun of the film.

Goon: Last of the Enforcers may trail compared to its predecessor, but its winning spirit and affable cast make up for the issues.

Grade: B-

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