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average rating is 2 out of 5


Joe Beck


Posted on:

Mar 22, 2023

Film Reviews
Directed by:
Alexis White
Written by:
Jose Duran
Chad Anderson, Roberto Arrizon, Severen Cole, Chad Meisenheimer

Funny films make us laugh for a multitude of reasons. Sometimes it’s because they’re so utterly insane that it’s impossible not to laugh, other times it may because it makes a fart joke, and at that moment we feel as though we’re ten years old. More often than not, however, we laugh because the characters offered to us in comedies are endearing, perhaps sometimes when they shouldn’t be, and because the humour, however bonkers, has a level of grounding in the human experience. ‘Goons’ has neither compelling characters nor a solid level of grounding in the human experience, and as a result most of its jokes fall flat, leaving a dull, if harmless, film.


Leaning heavily into the mockumentary sty a slight 23 minutes ‘Goons’ sometimes feels like a knocked-down version of ‘The Office’, no doubt an influence on it’s creators Alexis White and Jose Duran, who sometimes use the offbeat interviews to the camera popularised by the iconic show. Naturally, of course, you also have the character prone to the ‘Jim-stare’ directly at the camera, in this case Johnny (Chad Anderson), who plays the part of group leader. He introduces himself as the CEO of the sanitation department at a well-known, mouse-related, company, in the film’s first, and possibly funniest bit.


Johnny is joined by his ‘goons’, Andy (Roberto Arrizon) - the gym buff with dubious gang ties, Drew (Severen Cole) - the ‘looks of the group’ and a male stripper, and Sal (Chad Meisenheimer), the tech-savvy kid (grown man) loitering in parents basement’s across America. The introduction segment is as good as ‘Goons’ gets - a solid, and quite funny introduction to a seemingly interesting, if a little broad, collection of characters. From here the film could have explored the dynamic between the group, but the most we learn is that they’ve known each other for fifteen years. Alternatively, they could have been taken down a zany path, enriching their characters and endearing themselves as we see them confront a set of strange events, but instead the plot is relatively safe and uninventive.


This means that we’re left with a set of stagnant characters trapped inside a tame plot, and so we become bored. Even the addition of a couple of side characters fails to add to spice up the group dynamic, they’re all beset with money woes in the face of their eviction notice but that’s pretty much all the insight we’re offered into them. This stagnancy isn’t helped by the the forced nature of Duran’s dialogue, which becomes loquacious and tiresome, giving a bad reflection of the actors, who come across as irritating more often than endearing.


Though it doesn’t reflect tremendously in quality, it is evidently clear the passion which both cast and crew put into ‘Goons’, with Alexis White’s directing competent, and the actors always appearing just moments away from bursting into laughter themselves. The chemistry between the quartet feels natural, and is genuinely warming to see, making a not-so-good film at least put a small smile on this critic’s face.


That’s all very nice, but it doesn’t take away from the simple fact that ‘Goons’ is lacking a great deal in actual quality, and most importantly it’s lacking in laughs. It’s as though they filmed a bunch of guys having fun together, without ever actually letting us in on the joke - funny to themselves perhaps, but everyone else is clueless as to why they’re laughing.

About the Film Critic
Joe Beck
Joe Beck
Short Film
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