I guess it’s unsurprising they made a sequel to “Goon,” everyone’s favorite “saw it on Netflix but not in the theaters” hockey comedy gem. The first movie is like Tampa Bay Lightning in a bottle, occasionally funny, often endearing, but proceeds so briskly and majestically that it’s just a wholly enjoyable experience.
What is surprising is that the sequel, “Goon: Last of the Enforcers,” holds the same charm and fee of its predecessor. There’s a slew of returning characters who haven’t been as thoroughly-developed as they could have been, and some plot pains that stick out like a hockey stick splinter, but it’s an enjoyable romp, albeit not on the major league level of its predecessor.
Seann William Scott returns as Doug Glatt, a minor league hockey player who spends his time on the ice throwing punches than shooting pucks. He has a heart of gold, one that has won over the hear of his former girlfriend and now wife/soon-to-be-mom Eva. Doug gets injured by a brash new hockey star played by Wyatt Russell, relegating Doug back to normal life. That is until Ross Rhea, Doug’s former hockey rival turned Obi Wan Kenobi, helps him get back to the minors.
It’s all fun, and will be particularly enjoyable to fans of the first installment. But the movie fees like a textbook example of industry insiders not exactly understanding why the first one was so beloved. Jay Baruchel, who starred in both films and co-wrote the first one, actually directed “Last of the Enforcers” but lost his co-writer Evan Goldberg from the first film. Maybe it was Baruchel directing, Goldberg leaving, or a bit of both, but this film actively feels like a movie trying to be a movie and hit certain predetermined storytelling beats.
Through that process, “Last of the Enforcers” loses the spark of what made the first so special. It was an examination of something relatively popular (hockey) and a certain subculture within it (minor league hockey and its fans). Because so many people liked “Goon,” it, unexpectedly, was elevated to a beloved status of major Hollywood comedies. The sub culture aspect was not there anymore because “Goon” had become the norm, and “Last of the Enforcers” hadn’t realized that yet.