The Puck Hogs
As I write this, there are less than twenty-four hours to go before the finally puck drops on a new NHL season, so I decided to celebrate that by watching another movie about hockey. Unfortunately, the movie I picked was The Puck Hogs. This movie wants to be Slap Shot meets Spinal Tap, but in reality it’s more like one of the lousy direct to video Slap Shot sequels, meets some movie that’s just not anywhere near as good as Spinal Tap.
There’s a core of a pretty good mockumentary sports comedy here in this story of an aging rec-league hockey team dealing with changes in their lives while making one last run at (limited) glory. Unfortunately, it’s buried under an avalanche of uninspired performances, boring characters, and “gross out” humor that fails to be humorous. It’s like the screenplay had a final draft that was written by a fourteen year old who was trying way to hard, and then acted by a cast that mostly didn’t care.
There are a few performances that I did enjoy. I thought Joe Dinicol was surprisingly believable as “momma’s boy” Terry Bender. The character easily could have become a caricature, but Dinicol’s performance and his interaction with both of the women in Terry’s life, (his mother (Judy Marshak) and newfound girlfriend/stripper Cynthia (Theresa Joy)), felt genuine.
The movie does improve as it goes along, because it grows a little bit of heart. This largely comes in the person of Rachel Wilson as Caroline who becomes an increasingly important character through the second half of the movie. Unfortunately, even Wilson’s heartfelt performance isn’t enough to make this a good movie. It is, however, enough to rescue the film from the “Avoid Seeing” rating that it seemed destined for.
At the end of the day, this is a stupid movie, that has some potential but squanders it all by the half-way point. It improves towards the end, however it’s just not enough to rescue the film. Even for a hockey fan, The Puck Hogs is not worth seeing.