Simultaneously one of the years most violent and heartfelt films, "Goon" is destined to become one of the most celebrated hockey movies ever made. Director Michael Dowse (along with writers Jay Baruchel, who also acts, and Evan Goldberg, who previously co-scribed "Superbad" and "Pineapple Express") tells the story of Massachusetts native Doug Glatt, a bouncer at a dive bar turned hockey enforcer, with an energy that is pretty singular in 2012. A revelatory Sean William Scott plays Glatt; he attacks the role without an ounce of self-awareness, and somehow gets you to believe both his most brutal moments of violence and his most vulnerable moments of romance.
The film moves at the speed of an old-school 70s action/comedy (much like its spiritual predecessor, "Slap Shot,") always leaving you wanting more from the myriad of side characters but never leaving you bored for a single second. Between Glatt’s trysts with self-described "slut" Eva, his rivalry with teammate Xavier LeFlamme, and his brutal beefs with over-the-hill enforcer Ross Rhea (played, in what is honestly one of the year’s best performances, by a roughed up, melancholic Live Schreiber) the film reaches its conclusion before you realize you’re out of the first act. It’s a magnificent juggling act, but Dowse crafts the film with incredible economy, never staying on a scene for a second more than is needed.
"Goon" arrives on Blu-ray with a crystal clear transfer devoid of the slightest grain (a slight disappointment for film nerds like myself, but sure to please those with a taste for top quality HD Video.) The extras are few, but worthwhile: a hilarious commentary with Dowse and Barachul, and a set of subpar deleted scenes that makes it clear the sprint-style of the film was the best choice. This is a sports film that transcends the ice it begins on - a sports film this good will be tough to beat.