Canada’s Top Ten 2016: Hello Destroyer

A young hockey player’s life is left in limbo following a suspension for violence in Hello Destroyer. Tyson Burr (Jared Abrahamson) is a rookie enforcer for the Prince George Warriors minor league hockey team. Spurred on by a heated locker room pep talk by Coach Dale Milbury (Kurt Max Runte), Tyson ends up inadvertently injuring a player on the opposing team. After he’s indefinitely suspended and all but abandoned by his hockey family, Tyson moves back home with his parents and tries to salvage what is left of his seemingly meaningless existence.

Through Hello Destroyer, writer/director Kevan Funk creates a film that criticizes the violent culture that surrounds “Canada’s sport” of hockey. Tyson Burr is not a very outgoing young man, yet his does excel at his love of hockey. However, when Tyson becomes a little too violent and seriously injure another player, he is essentially thrown under the bus by the hockey community, with him being viewed as a disgrace and embarrassment by everyone around him, including his own parents. With his future uncertain, there may be more escape from Tyson’s limbo.

Unlike Michael Dowse’s 2011 film Goon, which all but celebrates the violence in hockey, Hello Destroyer is a film that takes a long, hard look at the hypocrisy that comes when a young hockey enforcer is penalized for doing what he is encouraged to do. It doesn’t take long for those around him to vilify Tyson, calling him a person with a penchant for violence, even it was the hockey culture that made him into this person. While not outright condemning of hockey, Hello Destroyer does make you stop and think about the violence that surrounds this sport so many Canadians are obsessed with.

8 / 10 stars


Sean Kelly Author

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described über-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).