Last of the Enforcers ups the ante on the original by giving Doug a new rival, one who has sympathetic reasons for being cruel, but who nevertheless has no qualms about it. The screenplay finds a clever way to force Doug and Cain to spend time together without ripping each other’s throats out, which only escalates the tension so that the film’s satisfying finale can feature the face-off we all know is coming. And that finale does not disappoint. It’s a rousing, suspenseful conclusion to the film, and if it’s genuinely the conclusion to Doug Glatt’s story, it’s as satisfying an ending as we could reasonably hope to get.
If the first Goon was “Rocky with Hockey,” then Goon: The Last Enforcer is Rocky II with hockey too. Jay Baruchel’s follow-up to the surprisingly smart, endearing and engrossing sports film is, itself, a surprisingly smart, endearing and engrossing sports sequel, full of raucous laughs but also able to wrest a few salty tears from even the most macho of audience members.
Doug Glatt (Seann William Scott) is back and he’s just been made captain of the Halifax Highlanders. Unfortunately for Doug this is the beginning of the movie, not the end, and his victory is short-lived. An altercation with rising hockey star Anders Cain (Wyatt Russell) leaves Doug with a potentially career-ending injury, right when his wife Eva (Alison Pill) discovers that she’s pregnant.
Doug is forced to give up his hockey career and take a job at an insurance company, in the basement, right next to the window where all the homeless drunks urinate. But the job brings him no joy and his former team needs him. Cain has just been added to the Highlander roster and made team captain by the manager, who also happens to be Cain’s father. Cain’s natural talent keeps the Highlanders in contention for the playoffs but his growing resentment towards his dad, his teammates and hockey in general is gradually transforming him into an ice-skating Anakin Skywalker, dead homicidal eyes and all.
To save his hockey family, Doug will have to jeopardize his real family and his own health. He teams up with his old rival Ross “The Boss” Rhea (Liev Schreiber) and learns to fight again, because the Goon movies aren’t about winning hockey games. They’re about standing up for your team, on and off the ice, even if they suck and make jokes about having sex with your mother. Doug’s job, as a hockey player and as a husband and a father, is to take punches for the people he cares about, and punch anyone who needs to be punched. But Doug is also a decent human being, simple of mind and pure of heart, and he will apologize as he pummels you.