Glatt, based on real-life hockey player Doug Smith, is a fool who knows he’s a fool: a rock-headed but essentially good-natured lunk who simply enjoys a good scrap. His story is one of rags to slightly better rags, as success in the sub-minor American leagues leads to a gig with a sinking Canadian team. What follows is predictable but pleasing: Glatt meets a girl (Alison Pill), argues and reconciles with his colleagues, and carries the team inexorably towards the championships.
Solid rather than spectacular, ‘Goon’ suffers from a slight storyline and an aggravating tendency towards sub-‘Superbad’ pottymouth banter. But its strengths are many: Dowse keeps things moving at a clip, and the crisp photography lends a powerful sense of those bleak, blue-collar towns along the US-Canadian border. The supporting cast is strong – Baruchel, Vincent d’Onofrio, and Canuck comedy stalwart Eugene Levy all muck in gamely. But it’s Scott who gives the movie its heart, delivering a performance of quiet strength and unexpected subtlety – when he’s not cracking skulls.