Red Army

Rated 3.0

All that most Americans know about Soviet Union hockey revolves around their “Miracle” defeat to the U.S. team in the 1980 Winter Olympics, but Gabe Polsky's documentary Red Army attempts to delve deeper. Through archival footage and largely uncooperative interviews, the film shows that the Iron Curtain-era players and coaches held not just a long tradition of innovative hockey and cohesive team play, but one of political enmeshment that continues to this day. Filled with cheeky musical cues and Best Week Ever-style graphics, Red Army holds open its arms and practically dares you not to love it. The film is slick but superficial, and it seems clear that the only people who would speak on camera held Polsky in a dismissive sort of contempt. Without a strong personal center to ground it, Red Army is a 76-minute feature in search of a short film. D.B.