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With Jim Sabatini

Goon - Last of the Enforcers

Goon - Last of the Enforcers
Seann William Scott, Wyatt Russell, Jason Jones, T.J. Miller, Elisha Cuthbert, Tyler Seguin and Michael Del Zotto

Rated: R for pervasive language, crude sexual content and bloody sports violence.
Reviewed by: Jim  
Release date: September 1, 2017 Released by: Entertainment One

The good will of the first Seann William Scott vicious hockey foray is noticeably abated in this follow-up directed and co-written by his co-star Jay Baruschel (Knocked Up, This Is The End) who happens to be a huge Montreal Canadiens fan.

Goon: Last of the Enforcers arrives in the U.S. a bit later than where it was primarily shot in Ontario, Canada; without the focus and instincts brought by Michael Dowse and Evan Goldberg half a dozen years ago. Perhaps understandable given Baruschel's first-timer status behind the camera.

Scott's Doug Glatt is considered less repugnant than Steve Stifler from the American Pie movies, and Doug The Thug has grown older though maybe not wiser in settling down with soon-to-be-mom Ava (Allison Pill). The captain of the Halifax Highlanders suffers a career-threatening injury on the ice to younger, more versatile opponent Anders Cain (Wyatt Russell, son of Kurt and Goldie Hawn) and takes on the more 'menial' task of insurance agent.

The filmmakers and scribes don't have the knack with the mechanics and characterization to keep it from being mostly an exercise in crudity and excess (maybe in part from what Baruschel gleaned from mentor Judd Apatow). Though some will like appearances by the likes of Jason Jones, T.J. Miller, and Elisha Cuthbert (kind of a scene-stealing best friend). Actual NHLers are on view in the rival St. John Shamrocks including Tyler Seguin and Michael Del Zotto.

The mix of comedy, drama, and bone-crunching bloody action isn't very crisp like a sharp pass onto the tape of a stick's blade, with the derivative tale hinging on Cain's recruitment by the Highlanders (where his dad done by Callum Keith Rennie happens to be the team's executive). Scott (not bad in films like Role Models and The Rundown) does his best to keep the dim-witted, pugnacious Glatt (modeled from the source novel after one Doug Smith) inveigling, but not having him on screen for notable stretches definitely lessens the impact.

A paternal quality is felt in a few cases if one considers what Doug and Ava are embarking on, as well as the Cain dynamic, not to mention a return to form thanks to an old arch-rival in Ross The Boss Rhea, a jaded ruing Liev Schreiber. Hockey fans and maybe some acolytes will be drawn to Baruschel's approach, as his Pat shares less of the limelight in what espouses bro-mantic qualities. Yet, in the final analysis after the gritty gumption of Goon - Last of the Enforcers is hardly a slick sculpting on and off the ice even as it accounts for pro dilemmas like 2013's lockout.

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