I liked Goon. It was a sweet film that happened to also feature a lot of bone-crunching violence, and it featured a superb central performance from Seann William Scott. Goon: Last Of The Enforcers is, although some (many?) may disagree, a superior sequel.
It's been a while since we last saw Doug Glatt (Scott). He's grown older but not that much wiser, although now nice and settled at home with Eva (Alison Pill), still putting up with the drunken antics of his friend Pat (Jay Baruchel), and still taking a hell of a beating out on the ice, when he needs to. Things come to a head when he is set upon by a vicious player named Anders Cain (Wyatt Russell), leading him to try and leave hockey behind for the sake of his health and Eva's peace of mind.
As well as returning to the role of Pat, Baruchel also co-wrote the script with Jesse Chabot. Obviously wanting to heap a bit more onto his plate, Baruchel has decided to make this his feature directorial debut, which makes sense considering how well he seems to know the characters and small world created in the first film. He certainly does a better job behind the camera than he does in front of it. It's been a while since I watched the first film but I can't recall his character being quite so idiotic, although I could be wrong.
Scott continues to make the most of the opportunity that this lead role affords him. He's dim, but not a complete idiot, and he does get a chance to grow somewhat. Russell is a great addition to the roster of characters, showing almost a mirror universe version of Doug. He's a man who wants to spill blood and break bones, his passion is for the fight ahead of the game or the team, and he's genuinely confused when others don't seem to approach the sport with the same attitude. Liev Schreiber returns, as Ross Rhea, and once again proves to be an excellent illustration of what Doug may potentially have lying ahead of him. Pill does well with her relatively thankless role (as ultimately understanding as she is, I am sure some will view her as just the moaning wife), and Kim Coates and Callum Keith Rennie stand out as two men who want to run the ice hockey team two very different ways.
Although it runs through just as many sports movie cliches as the first film, Goon: Last Of The Enforcers at least uses a new bag of old tricks (if that makes sense). There are a couple of mis-steps - with the main ones being the waste of Baruchel in the actual acting department, and the equal waste of Elisha Cuthbert in a small role - but those aren't significant enough to stop this from being a perfect follow-up to a film that I never would have considered in need of a sequel.
Pick it up on DVD for a bargain price here.
Or, in America, get it the bluray here.