The Sporting Film - Ice Guardians
Ice Hockey : Brilliant movie opens the door on what life is like for an 'Enforcer' both on and off the ice.
Make no mistake, this movie is not a glorification of hard men and what they do on the ice. Yes, there are lots and lots of fight sequences. If you are into that (who isn't?) you'll get your fill. However, 'Ice Guardians' goes way deeper than that.
Interviews and running commentary with some of the most infamous enforcers in the history of the sport brings a first hand account of what is an extraordinarily complicated existence. Erudite and considered prose from those often considered as 'goons', paints a totally different picture to the one you might imagine.
The narrative for the movie is based on the fact that the enforcer is a dying breed within the sport. In the space of 30-40 years, NHL teams have gone from having 3-4 enforcers, then to 2, and now to barely 1. In an era where concussions and player safety are paramount, it would seem obvious to stop fighting in hockey right?
Well, as the film fascinatingly explores, perhaps the enforcer was one reason why concussions and serious injuries were not as prevalent 'back in the day'. Would Sidney Crosby have suffered the cheap shots, concussions and injuries he has if he had someone watching his back? These themes are explored, as well as the psychological side of living your life being constantly prepared for a bar knuckle fight on ice skates.
This deep insight means the film is a must watch for any sports fan, but particularly for those of us who are not overly familiar with Ice Hockey. Many of the sports traditions, principles and frankly its identity are on show here. If you were ever in need of a movie to watch about sport that will teach you something AND get you thinking, this is it.