I knew I liked Gabe Polsky’s quirky documentary on Russian hockey player Viacheslav Fetisov for a reason. He’s got that Werner Herzog idiosyncratic eye and ear that captures the odd ball in us all.
Red Army traces Viacheslav’s rise from Russian youth hockey to the Olympics and beyond. When he requests to play for the NHL, well, let’s just say they didn’t grant him a send off celebration.
One of the endearing off beat scenes was of a former Soviet Union government official whose 5 year old grand daughter steals the scene with her impish antics and ice cream cone infatuation. Another was of Viacheslav’s attempts to stay in shape having been banned from all hockey rinks in Russia. His carrying his former coach’s daughter on his back, running and wielding his hockey stick on grass show how passionate he was as a true athlete.
If you like Red Army, check out Bad Lieutenant Port of Call New Orleans which Polsky helped produce. Bad Lieutenant is probably the coolest movie Nicholas Cage did since Leaving Las Vegas.
While there aren’t Newmanesque leather pants nor Hanson twins; as a true story, Red Army’s resolution is astonishing to say the least. Let’s just say that when Broad City’s Abbi Abrams (2/4 episode) asks her date to change positions, the end result is similarly shocking. Vlach