Welcome to the House of Crouse. First up, “Wilson” star Judy Greer stops by for a quick visit to talk about working with Woody Harrelson and signing the boobs of Archer fans. Then we go long with “Goon: Last of the Enforcers” star Kim Coates. He recites Shakespeare, talks about “Sons of Anarchy” and growing up on the Canadian Prairies. From boobs to Shakespeare, we cover it all, so c’mon in and sit a spell.
Richard sits in with CTV NewsChannel anchor Marcia MacMillan to have a look at the big weekend movies, the live action version of “Beauty and the Beast,” the drug addled “T2 Trainspotting” and the no-holds-barred “Goon: Last of the Enforcers.”
“Goon: Last of the Enforcers” is about as subtle as one of Doug the Thug’s brutal uppercuts to the jaw. A foul-mouthed celebration of hockey rink sluggers directed by Jay Baruchel, it paints the ice with so much blood it makes the raunchy classic “Slapshot” look positively Victorian in comparison.
Six years since the original “Goon,” Seann William Scott returns as Doug Glatt, enforcer for the Halifax Highlanders. Imagine the love child of Tie Domi and Lloyd Christmas; a hockey bruiser with a heart of gold. The pro teams have been locked out and all eyes are on the Highlanders. As Captain and enforcer Doug is the team’s ticket to the playoffs until he comes out on the wrong end of an on-ice brawl with rival Anders Cain (Wyatt Russell). Beaten and bloody, Doug is forced into early retirement and Cain is recruited to take his place.
As Cain bashes heads on ice and off, Doug provides for his pregnant girlfriend Eva (Alison Pill) as an insurance salesman but as the season wears on Doug finds himself drawn back to the rink. “I don’t think the insurance bug has truly laid its eggs inside me,” he says. At first he sneaks in ice time behind Eva’s back but when he finally comes clean she is cool with him returning to the ice as long as he doesn’t fight. Question is, will it be possible for Doug lace up and hit the ice without raising his fists?
The final showdown between the two bruisers boils down to the simple fact that Doug loves the game while Cain only loves to win.
“Goon: Last of the Enforcers” replaces the enforcer-as-gladiator subtext of the first film with easier to digest philosophical messages about loyalty, doing the right thing and how understanding your purpose and place makes for a happy life. That it splatters those messages with gallons of blood, jokes about autoerotic asphyxiation and, well, just about every bodily function known to man. It is rough and rowdy, like a scrappy booze-fuelled minor league game.
Scott brings his goofy charm to Doug, a sweetheart of a guy with an iron fist and a bum shoulder. He teammates are likeable misfits, each a little quirkier than the last. Locker room talk—some that would make the Hanson Brothers blush—abounds between them, but their real bond is a shared love of the game.
As Darth Vader on skates Wyatt Russell is welcome addition to the team. He gets the off kilter rhythm of the dialogue and is as villainous as Doug is soft-hearted.
At it’s dirty little heart “Goon: The Last of the Enforcers” is a sweet movie about love, Doug’s dual loves for Eva and the game.
Marc-André Grondin has a confession to make. Despite playing a professional hockey player in Goon, he has spent more time on skis than skates.
“I started acting when I was three so I was never able to be on a team, and that’s why I suck at skating,” says the Montréal-born actor. “In high school I didn’t really do many sports but I was a ski instructor for a year.”Although he says, “I don’t come from a family who does sports,” he inherited a love of hockey from his grandmother.
“The only person in my family who religiously watched hockey, every single game, was my mom’s mom, who looked like Queen Elizabeth,” he says. “She was super smooth. I never heard her scream or anything. At seven o’clock we’d be in the kitchen and she’d get up and go to the living room to watch hockey. She knew all the names. I actually started watching hockey with her.”
He also played street hockey with the kids on his block—“I was a goalie,” he says. “I’m born in ‘84 so when I was young the big, big star was Patrick Roy. I had my Patrick Roy jersey and my cheap Canadian Tire Patrick Roy mask and had a baseball glove…”—and “at some point I wanted to be on a hockey team like all my friends, and I told my mom and she said, ‘Well, you can, but you have to choose between the two. You can’t do both. It’s too demanding.’ I chose to continue acting, which I think was a good decision.”
He has been in the public eye steadily after making his debut as a toddler in a Minute Maid orange juice commercial but leads a normal life in Montréal.
“I’ve never had a glamorous life,” he says. “People think it is glamorous because they see one day out of the year when there is a red carpet and pictures and they think you are always living a glamorous life, especially when you’re working in Paris. (Where he just finished shooting an adaptation of Victor Hugo’s The Man Who Laughs.) It seems so glamorous but it is actually a dirty city… dirtier than Montréal. A beautiful city, but dirty.”
One regret of his Goon experience was missing the premier at the theatre that stands where the iconic Montréal Forum once played host to 24 Stanley Cup championships.
“Obviously I was really bummed I couldn’t be there, especially because all my friends were all in town. Yeah, it sucked but it’s part of the game. But at least I had a good reason. I was working. It’s not like I was in jail.”
Usually he plays dramatic parts like his best known role, Zac, a young gay man dealing with homophobia in 1960s and 1970s Quebec in the film C.R.A.Z.Y. “I’ve never liked the fact that people think I’m some kind of dark, dramatic character as a person; that I read poetry before I go to bed and shit like that. I am so not like that.”
Goon offered the chance to show his comedic side, and he hopes now people know “that I’m not as serious. Especially on twitter, because I always tweet ridiculous stuff.”“It’s fun, and I loved doing Goon because of that. I loved, when we premiered it at TIFF, how people were comfortable with me. Friendly. When you do a dark dramatic movie people don’t talk to you at all. You’re by yourself all night.”