A strong story aches to get out of "The Rhino Brothers," but helmer Dwayne Beaver and scripter Rudy Thauberger have seen too many TV ads, and <I>way</I> too much hockey, because all the drama feels forced in this tale of overly competitive brothers bullied by a small town mom with dreams of pro glory. Sports cable may offer the "Brothers" a home.

A strong story aches to get out of “The Rhino Brothers,” but helmer Dwayne Beaver and scripter Rudy Thauberger have seen too many TV ads, and way too much hockey, because all the drama feels forced in this tale of overly competitive brothers bullied by a small town mom with dreams of pro glory. Sports cable may offer the “Brothers” a home.

Atom Egoyan vet Gabrielle Rose is terrific as the chain-smoking rink mother, but her scenes don’t add up to a solid character; pic-makers can’t decide whether she’s a frustrated dreamer or a Hitler with knee pads, so they keep changing the rules. After establishing that she’s a cold fish who has made her boys unable to relate well to women, they hand her an inspirational pep talk before the expected big game that undoes everything preceding it. Deanna Milligan’s part, as a female observer too intelligent to have been with a Rhino Bro in the first place, is written out before it can complicate things. The f-word stands ever-ready to sub for profundity. Vid-to-film transfer is good, but hammy staging and editing are frequently tube-like.

The Rhino Brothers

Canada

Production

A Rhino Brothers Film Co. production, in association with CanWest indie fund, Astral TV, Film Initiative BC. Produced by Tracey Boulton, Dwayne Beaver, John Pineau. Executive producer, Shelley Gillen. Directed by Dwayne Beaver. Screenplay by Rudy Thauberger.

Crew

Camera (color, HDCam/35mm), Stephen Jackson; editor, Jody Polowick; music, Shane Harvey, Skydiggers; production designer, Julian Stockdale. Reviewed on videocassette, Vancouver, Sept. 9, 2001. (In Toronto, Vancouver Film Festivals.) Running time: 91 MIN.

With

Gabriell Rose, Bill McDonald, Curtis Bechdholt, Alistair Abel, Deanna Milligan.
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