Monday, February 27, 2012

Trio Review: Act of Valor, Wanderlust, and Goon

During the last weekend, I didn't have time to write three separate reviews, so here's a new structure where I'm low on time for that: a trio review. This last weekend, I saw Act of Valor, Goon, and Wanderlust, so I'm going to break up my thoughts on these three movies into much shorter reviews than my familiar reviewing style. Without further to do, enjoy the first edition of the Trio Review.

Act of Valor (2012)
"Act of Valor" is a supremely ambitious film when you concern the fact that the filmmakers had real active-duty Navy SEALS play the lead characters. That already is one of many problems with this movie, because when it comes to having natural conversations, in addition to showing emotion, these men can't pull if off in the slightest. At the same time though, I don't blame them for the flaw because these SEALS have no background in acting whatsoever. However, I will agree that the action scenes were great, as they exhibited a lot of authentic realism which was due to the fact that they used authentic weaponry and live ammunition when filming the action scenes. On the other hand, that is the only good thing that can be said about this film, because the rest of it is a giant, heavily cliched piece of military propaganda put on by Hollywood. Also coming from a military family, I have full respect for the identity-protected SEALS who took part in this project, but our troops deserve much better than this overlong Navy recruitment video.

Final Grade: D+

Goon (2012)
Released on-demand on the 24th, "Goon" is a violent hockey comedy that stars Seann William Scott as an extremely dimwitted but loveable hockey enforcer Doug "The Thug" Glatt. It was so refreshing to see Seann William Scott in a non-Stifler role, and he easily delivers his best performance in that aforementioned acting division. He's tame, yet still exhibits great comedic timing for the lead character's lack of normal intelligence around other people. The supporting cast is decent, with Liev Schreiber chewing up scenery as an aging enforcer who looks like Ray Liotta's Irish mobster counterpart, but Jay Baruchel (who also co-wrote the film) has an unfunny Danny McBride-esque schtick that wears out its welcome really fast. Director Michael Dowse does a great job filming the hockey scenes with a swift pace, in addition to being very in-your-face when it comes to the bloody fights, but the rest of this movie is bogged down with tiresome running jokes, and a forced romantic subplot that really slows down the film's pace. Overall despite those flaws, "Goon" still works as a solidly humorous Friday night rental with friends, and as a guilty pleasure for the most die hard hockey fans.

Final Grade: B-

Wanderlust (2012)
"Wanderlust" was never high on my radar in the month of February, but I decided to give it a chance because of Paul Rudd and "Role Models" director David Wain. Paul Rudd doesn't disappoint, as he showcases his classic comedy mannerisms throughout the film that had me laughing consistently, especially a scene where he had to psych himself up in front of a mirror. Jennifer Aniston on the other hand basically plays "the girl," as really anyone could've played her role and it would've had the same effect on me. Like "Role Models," the movie's supporting cast is comprised of numerous underground cult comedians that include Ken Marino, Joe Lo Truglio, Kerri Kenney-Silver, and more, that all get their own chance to shine. However, the film's second half isn't as funny as the first half, and that's especially due to there being several character twists that are produced to such forced effect to the film's plot. Also like "Goon," there are several running gags that are stretched further than their welcome really should have been. However, if you're a fan of these stars and underground comedians, then you shouldn't be disappointed going into this film, because while it will make you laugh a lot, it won't be a comedy you'll remember for years to come, though.

Final Grade: B-


  1. Great mini-reviews. :) Act of Valor seems to have let me down in reviews, for I though it'd be a military film with heart, not box office, Hollywood propaganda. Wanderlust sounds pretty good though, so I might check it out for the heck of it. Goon? No interest.

  2. Good mini reviews. I have respect for Navy Seals who starred in Act Of Valor, but I have no intention of seeing that film. We brits got Goon back in Jan, I didn't see it as I didn't think much of it, but I may rent that and Wanderlust sometime. great reviews.