Hollywood has put out countless sports films over the years, but hockey has been one sport that has been curiously under-represented.
One example of a film that many hockey and film fans believe got it right is Slap Shot, the 1977 film directed by George Roy Hill, written by Nancy Dowd, and starring screen legend Paul Newman.
In the trailer for Slap Shot, the voice-over concludes with, There has never been a film like 'Slap Shot'... there may never be another.
Now a new film hits theatres that ambitiously attempts to be the next Slap Shot, but it seems to fall short of such lofty expectations.
Directed by Michael Dowse, and starring Minnesota-born Seann William Scott, Goon is a comedy based on the true underdog story of Doug The Hammer Smith, who gained fame as a minor-league hockey enforcer by brawling on the ice.
The film is adapted from the book Goon: The True Story of an Unlikely Journey into Minor League Hockey by Adam Frattasio and Smith.
Doug Glatt (Scott) attends a hockey game and punches out a player who climbed into the stands to fight. This prompts a job offer to become the enforcer for Glatt's hometown team. Meanwhile, Glatt becomes romantically involved with Eva (Alison Pil), a hockey groupie, while his team enjoys success with him beating up opponents.
Goon has been criticized for its glorification of fighting and violence. Those who follow hockey know that fighting is a major component of the sport. Toronto Star film critic Peter Howell found the film funny but wrote that it takes hockey hooliganism to heights not seen since 'Slap Shot.'
Film critic Stephen Cole's reviewed Goon in the Global and Mail, a Canadian-based national newspaper, and dismissed its comedic elements, and described it as just another boys' after-pub flick.
However, the film has so far done well on Rottentomatoes.com, with a 74 rating. The film has yet to be reviewed by many established film critics, with its opening set for Mar. 30.
Hockey aficionados might be amused by one particular scene. The film makes a reference to a famous fight between George Laraque and Raitis Ivanans when the Phoenix Coyotes hosted the Los Angeles Kings on Nov. 4, 2006.
Here is the official trailer for Goon: