While actor / director Kevin Smith has announced he will retire from movie making, he’s not going away without pulling any punches.
Smith will be making one last movie, a ice-hockey comedy Hit Somebody, Inspired by the Warren Zevon song. The film will begin shooting in June and could premiere at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, Kurt Orzeck of Reuters reported in early January.
Hit Somebody is the a fictional story about the life of Canadian hockey player Buddy McCracken who wants to become an NHLer, though his skills aren’t passing, shooting, or skating; it’s fighting.
While the leading character is an enforcer, don’t expect the film to include gratuitous violence and fighting galore.
Smith, a notoriously passionate hockey fan, told Richard Ouzounian of the Toronto Star recently that he’s not a fan of the violence that has taken over the game. And that’s why he won’t include much of it in his film.
It’s set during the period from 1972-80, when things weren’t as f—-ing stupid as they are today. Sure there was violence then, but there wasn’t this crazy passion for it people have now. You got all these people running around nowadays with a hard-on, waiting for the next dude to total himself. Look, we all like to see the fights. It’s one of the things that makes hockey fun, but enough is enough.
During the same interview with Ouzounian, Smith went on to rail against fighting in hockey.
I like fighting as much as the next guy, but Jesus Christ, how many people have to die? Look, man, when one of the greatest hockey players living isn’t playing because he’s concussed, then something’s seriously f—ked. I mean, like, Sidney [Crosby]‘s off the ice, man.
Perhaps Smith doesn’t realize this, but Crosby didn’t actually suffer his concussion during a fight. Many people that equate fighting with head shots make that mistake. What caused the Pittsburgh Penguins star forward’s concussion(s) were hits to the head during play.
While Smith may have some of his fact wrong, he does appear to be genuinely concerned over the “physical toll” NHLers suffer.
Did you ever read The Devil and Bobby Hull? They talk about the correlation between constant concussions and brain damage and it’s hard to deny it. Once you get science on your side saying steady concussive behaviour is degenerative to a brain, then maybe, finally, something has to be done. I love hockey as much as anybody. But no game is worth dying over.
For the time being, Smith can take some comfort in the fact that the National Hockey League is taking steps to crack down on cheap shots — especially when it comes to head shots — and overall player safety.