Red Army Directed by Gabe Polsky. Rated PG. Opens Friday.
At first, Gabe Polsky’s documentary Red Army seems like it will be about the entire Soviet national hockey team, but it soon becomes clear that the movie is really about one man: Viacheslav “Slava” Fetisov, the team’s talented and headstrong defenseman and captain. While it’s a little disappointing to see Polsky give limited screen time to the other members of what was once the most successful hockey team in the world, Fetisov is such a fascinating, contradictory figure (and an entertainingly combative interview subject) that it’s hard to fault the filmmaker for wanting to include as much of him as possible. Polsky’s breezy, energetic documentary does offer up a succinct and informative look at the intersection of sports and politics in the careers of Fetisov and his colleagues, which stretched from the late 1970s to stints in the NHL in the ’90s. What Red Army loses in comprehensiveness, it makes up for in entertainment value.