You don’t have to love ice hockey in order to enjoy this violent, yet charming rags-to-riches story. You will meet Doug Glatt (Seann William Scott), a good-natured guy working as a security guard at a bar in a small town in Massachusetts. Doug is aware that he is not the smartest cookie in the jar and feels like a black sheep in his brainy family. At times, his only support is his goofy, hockey-loving fried Pat (Jay Baruchel). Due to a lucky set of circumstances (punching a hockey player in the face real hard, splitting open his helmet) he becomes an enforcer for a minor league ice hockey team. His sole task is to beat up the opponents. All Doug wants is to belong somewhere and do something he is good at, and becoming a hockey player is more than he could ever dream for. Doug is an unlikely goon, modest and sensitive, with a sweet smile and martyrlike moral code. In a comic reversal, he is also ready to beat the s**t out of everyone, knock out teeth, break noses and bleed for his team. The rest of the cast offers fun performances as well: Ross Rhea (Liev Schreiber), as a charismatic hockey veteran and Doug’s hero, Xavier Laflamme (Marc-Andre Grondin), the troubled star of Doug’s team, whom Doug has the task to protect, and a couple of playful Russians making fun of everybody. Also, some of the most comic moments come from a subplot involving Doug and Eva (Alison Pill) and their unconventional romance. In the end, the movie turns more and more into a drama, while we are waiting for the final countdown in which Dough must face his idol Rhea fist to fist.
Bloody and brutal, with upsettingly realistic shots of violence (some scenes are truly painful to watch), this film is not trying to sell us a story of a deeper meaning of ice hockey, as if there was something more to it than a gladiator-style amusement. On the contrary, perhaps what I like most about this film is its honesty. The truth needs no embellishments.
|Rating: 6.8/10 (69,969 votes)
Director: Michael Dowse
Writer: Jay Baruchel, Evan Goldberg, Adam Frattasio (book), Doug Smith (book)
Stars: Seann William Scott, Jay Baruchel, Alison Pill, Liev Schreiber
Runtime: 92 min
Genre: Comedy, Sport
Released: 24 Feb 2012
|Plot: Labeled an outcast by his brainy family, a bouncer overcomes long odds to lead a team of under performing misfits to semi-pro hockey glory, beating the crap out of everything that stands in his way.|