Goon: Last of the Enforcers is the follow-up to the hilarious and heartwarming Goon (2011), starring Seann William Scott as the loveable hockey goon Doug “The Thug” Glatt, an aging vet who, after an injury, is forced to hang up the skates, get a 9-5 and start working on a future for his family. The film marks the directorial debut of actor Jay Baruchel, who also co-penned both films.
Bloodier? Check. Funnier? Ehhhh. The general rule of thumb for sequels is that they need to be bigger, bloodier, louder, funnier, better than their predecessors, but that isn’t the case with Last of the Enforcers and it’s not necessarily a bad thing. While Last of the Enforcers maintains the raunchy humor and blood splattered ice fights, it feels just a bit more adult than Goon. Doug is forced to live a life of mundanity after getting injured in a fight and the rest of the movie is him rehabilitating so he can return to former glory, but in doing so he realizes what’s truly important to him. Dougy is becoming a man, but it’s a shame the film consists of a string of farce jokes. The low-brow humor that held together the first film can, at times, come off as tonally awkward considering Last of the Enforcers is supposed to be a film about maturity.
Goon Squad. Where the first film builds characters and establishes an emotional connection with the audience, Last of the Enforcers fails to expand these characters and keep them in our hearts. Marc-André Grondin as Xavier LaFlamme is undoubtedly one of the best things about the first film but he’s kind of tossed to the side with little screen time in this sequel. Seann William Scott continues to throw bows and kindly apologize after, but feels even dimmer than he was in the first film. Alison Pill’s Eva reprise is reduced to the unhappy wife trope which makes Doug’s mundane plotline clichéd to the fullest. However, Liev Schreiber doesn’t disappoint recurring as Ross “The Boss” Rhea, who despite being the villain at first actually has some character development this time around.
A Pucking Mess. Baruchel’s first time behind the camera is a bit rough but he still manages to pull together a decently entertaining film. The laughs are there, but the story is messy. The film lacks the scrappiness and warmth of Goon (2011) because it lacks structure - there is no flow, only blurbs of mundane life with some fighting sprinkled in. Baruchel does, however, do a great job at capturing action. The fights are clean cut, consisting mostly of wide shots to see the blows being landed. The hockey games are quickly paced and tightly shot, not shaky. There is potential here if only the script wasn’t choppy. One can’t help but imagine what could’ve been if co-writer Evan Goldberg had the helping hand needed to pen a cohesive script.
With half the charm and half the laughs, Last of the Enforcers still manages to hang in there and stand on its own two skates.