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"Goon": Brute on the Ice Is Good Guy at Heart 

Wednesday, Apr 4 2012

In this comedy, Doug Glatt (Seann William Scott) is a polite Jewish boy from fictional Orangetown, Mass. Doug is a bouncer, but his middle-class parents (Eugene Levy and Ellen David), in denial that their son is the mental equal of Lennie from Of Mice and Men, want him to quit the bar job and find some more genteel work. Doug, however, finds his true calling at an Orangetown Assassins hockey game, when an opposing team's enforcer, provoked by a pelt of concessions, barges into the stands looking to bust heads, only to get flattened by Doug. Soon recruited as a "goon" enforcer by the Assassins, Doug — now nicknamed "The Thug" — climbs the minor-league ranks to the Halifax Highlanders, who need someone to stick up for sweet-skating prodigy Xavier Laflamme (Marc-André Grondin), skittish on the ice since a concussive hit from Ross Rhea (Liev Schreiber), the long-reigning king of goons, who is winding down his career. Surrounded with an able supporting cast, Scott is exemplary at playing a sweet, dumb brute without signaling his own intelligence — the true test when playing a dullard. Depicting the vocationally debauched world of second-tier hockey, Goon is not only rowdy, but also humane.

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Nick Pinkerton

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