PREMATURE EVALUATIONS: GOON: LAST OF THE ENFORCERS 2017 dir. Jay Baruchel


Comedy sequels rarely work. Sports comedy sequels even more rarely. So when it was announced that Jay Baruchel would be directing the sequel to one of my favorite comedies from the last 5 years, GOON, I was torn. Yes, we’d have more Doug “The Thug” Glatt and crew, but was that a good thing? Would it just be the same story retold with more gross out jokes a la THE HANGOVER and PITCH PERFECT sequels? Let’s dive into the details below.

“Thank you guys so much. I’ve never been a captain before. One time I had a dream I was a captain of a monkey ship. There were all these monkeys playing around, laughing, having fun. Singing, wearing little monkey sailor hats. Fighting over life jackets. Pierce Brosnan was screaming. I hope that one day I can be the captain of your dreams! Best wishes, Doug Glatt.”

SYNOPSIS:
Following a NHL lockout, the league of the Highlanders is seeing an influx of major league hockey players coming down to play. In their first outing, newly made Captain of the team, Glatt is set to take on one of those stars Anders Cain. Not only does Cain feel like he needs to prove his dominance as the big fish in a small pond, he’s also fostering some major daddy issues with his father, Hyrum, as the Hall of Famer and new owner of the Highlanders. He spares nothing as he takes out his aggressions on lovably dumb Doug in a brutal beatdown, leaving Glatt facing the end of his hockey career.

Finding out that his wife is pregnant, The Thug turns his back on the rink to pursue a safer method of financial future. But he soon realizes that his heart is on the ice and he trains up to get back to his boys in Halifax.

WHAT WORKS:

LAST OF THE ENFORCERS does a great job of returning almost the entire cast from the first film yet is able to seamlessly add in characters thanks in part to a Sports Center parody involving comedian TJ Miller as an uncensored firebrsnd opposite a straight-laced commentator.

WHAT DOESN’T:

My one complaint about the film is the limited use of Doug’s best friend, Pat, played by Jay Baruchel. As Pat was the catalyst for getting Doug into the rink in the first film, he had a short screen time, albeit a memorable one. And this is even understandable as Baruchel had a ton on his plate with the co-writing and handling the direction.

WHY SHOULD YOU SEE GOON: LAST OF THE ENFORCERS?:

As a comedy sequel, they could have taken the easy way out and rehashed all the big jokes that worked in the first film. Did the Ukrainian brothers still torment Belchior about gangbanging his mother? Yes, but they elevated the stakes involved.

The relationship of Doug and Eva is both a sweet one, but it is also a realistic look at marriage. Love is messy, and things rarely work how we hope. But if two people truly care for each other, they can fight to make things work out, or at least make it livable.

“Well folks, we know that big girls don’t cry, but apparently big men from Eastern Europe sure bleed a lot!”

The final 20 minutes of the movie is the last regular season game for the Highlanders, and it is action packed, full of some great hockey, a handful of hilarious gags, and a pretty incredible pep talk. Yes, we’ve seen this formula before, but how it is directed and edited, it is hard not to perk up and truly get invested in our boys in blue and white out on the ice.

GOON: LAST OF THE ENFORCERS is available Friday, Sept 1 in limited theatrical release, as well as on VOD and digital HD.

The film has an all-star cast of Seann William Scott (American Pie, Role Models), Alison Pill (“American Horror Story,” Cooties), Marc-André Grondin (Che: Part Two, Goon), Wyatt Russell (22 Jump Street, Ingrid Goes West), Callum Keith Rennie (“The Man In The High Castle,” “Longmire”), Jason Jones (“The Daily Show,” Hot Tub Time Machine 2), with Jay Baruchel (This Is The End, She’s Out of My League), with Elisha Cuthbert (“24,” The Girl Next Door), Kim Coates (“Sons of Anarchy,” Resident Evil: Afterlife) and Liev Schreiber (“Ray Donovan,” Creed). The film marks the directorial feature debut of Jay Baruchel who co-wrote this sequel with Jesse Chabot (“Just For Laughs: All Access”).

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