Goon: Last of the Enforcers (2017)

Doug Glatt is aging, his physical and fighting form are not at their peak anymore, and he has a kid on the way.  This leads him to try to be a responsible adult and get a regular job.  Can he stay away from the game and be a responsible father?

Written by Jay Baruchel and Jesse Chabot, based on characters creates by Evan Goldberg and the book by Adam Frattasio and Douglas Smith with Baruchel serving as director, this sequel to the 2011 comedy is decently done with familiar characters doing what they do best, some of the things being turned up a bit or a lot.  The script brings back most of the characters from the original that people loved and adds a few others to spice things up.  Unfortunately, it seems one of the things being turned up about one of the well-loved original characters is how dumb Glatt is.  While it was somewhat endearing in the original film, here it makes getting back to loving him take a bit longer, keeping the viewer from being able to fully get into the movie.  This may be due to the writing, directing, acting from Seann William Scott, or a combination of these.  Director’s Jay Baruchel’s character of Pat comes back as well and his appearance is thankfully short.  The ladies from the first also come back with Alison Pill giving possibly the most interesting performance of the film.  Also outshining most of the cast again is Liev Schreiber as aging enforcer Ross Rhea.  The film takes these characters and performances and uses them to set up a story that is sweet in the end but not quite as funny as the first film’s.  Baruchel does show talent here, creating a film that is interesting, but the whole does feel like it’s missing something.

The film’s story is fairly basic and it does bring back most of the original cast, with varying levels of success.  What works well here and is fun to watch, is the depiction of hockey, how it gets played by some, and the fights and their brutal aftermath.  The film takes more time to explain and show the effect fighting, repeated injuries, and multiple concussions have on the players and their families.  The film does make a point and does show that some men choose the games and some choose to walk away, each for their own reason.  For anyone with family, friends, and loved ones playing hockey on the level and with the number of fights depicted here, this is something that might very well hit home.

“Goon: Last of the Enforcers” is one of those sequels that attempts to bring something new to the table and does so in terms of showing its characters aging, but it also feels like it’s mostly coasting on the set up of the original, giving the character about the same old, same old to do with a few changes and raising the bar from time to time, but it feels a bit stale in spots.  Seann William Scott is still fun to watch in his part, but his character seems to have gone dumber possibly or perhaps less cared about, something that is unfortunately not as entertaining as him having more of an evolution would have been.

“Goon: Last of the Enforcers” succeeds in being a good hockey film making some important points about the health and the future of players with multiple injuries and concussions, but it suffers from some of the loved characters from the original not having much of an evolution over their last few years of life.  Seann William Scott is still fun to watch and funny, but the character of Glatt feels like he may have gotten even dumber, but he manages to make him lovable anyways.  Liev Schreiber is still one of the highlights of these films with a character that feels like he maybe should get more screen time.