Review: “Goat” Felt Incomplete; Didn’t go As Far As I Thought It Would



Title: Goat
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Posted September 30, 2016 by

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Brad and Brett (Ben Schnetzer and Nick Jonas) are brothers that both attend the same college. When Brad rushes the fraternity that Brett is already a part of is when their loyalty to each other is tested yet never strained. “Goat” focuses on the hazing process that young men go through in order to join a brotherhood that they will be a part of for their entire collegiate career; a ritual that has since been banned from colleges yet still may go on, as depicted in this movie. Most people have heard (or read) about the real life horrors these boys are put through in order to show their allegiance to fraternity they wish to join, but “Goat” never really touches on how bad it used to be and still may be. It promises this brutal reenactment of what goes on, but the worst thing the boys are put through in this movie are crawling around in mud, eating a banana they think is excrement out of a toilet, and having to drink an entire keg of warm beer. The whole time I was watching this movie, I kept waiting for something terrible to happen –that moment when brothers Brad and Brett would have to decide between their relationship and their membership to the frat — but “Goat” never really reaches that point. Instead the film gets more enjoyment out of teasing you with what could be; failing to show the viewer how terrible hazing actually is.

There’s a subplot to this film that also doesn’t deliver a satisfying conclusion where Brad leaves a house party, allows two strangers he thinks were also at the party to catch a ride in his car, and is ultimately beat up and robbed by them. I kept waiting for something to come from that — for the two men to get what was coming to them — but instead the whole situation serves as a story for other guys in the movie to bring up, feel bad for him about, and then forget about altogether. Felt like a violent scene in the movie that didn’t really have much purpose. Maybe if it would have made Brad tougher, made him more angry in situations that didn’t call for it, it could have been an interesting plot point, but that never comes to fruition.

In the description of the movie, it says that Brad and Brett’s relationship is tested in ‘brutal ways’. This is also not true. Throughout the movie, older brother Brett seems to constantly be looking out for Brad, trying to get him to not join the fraternity, and begging his fellow frat brothers to not necessarily go easy on his brother but maybe just tone it down a bit. While he’s present at every hazing, he never takes part, never seems to get any enjoyment out of what’s happening, and therefore never threatens to ruin his relationship with Brad. Once again, what could have been an interesting part of the movie gets left by the wayside.

By the end of this movie, you’re left feeling misled. The film constantly promises to send you through a dramatic journey where you will have to choose sides and ultimately doesn’t deliver. If you’re going to tackle a subject like this, don’t do so with kid gloves on. Show how bad hazing really can be; we’re adults. We can handle it. The entirety of this movie could be played on late night cable without any editing and that’s a major letdown after reading the premise.

I ultimately didn’t care about anyone or anything in this film. Such a shame.





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