Fraternal love is put to the test in the mediocre sports drama “Minnesota,” which centers around two hockey-playing brothers living in the stix. Pic skates thinly over themes of ambition, sibling competitiveness and Russia’s love-hate relationship with the West, but has nothing especially profound to say about any of them. Presence of TV star Sergei Gorobchenko may help score receipts domestically, but offshore, pic will hit the wall.
A scout (Vitaly Khaev) offers Igor (Anton Pampushny), a promising hockey player for a provincial Russian team, the chance to play in the American league. But Igor doesn’t want to go to America without his elder brother, Mikhail (Gorobchenko), who’s all the family Igor has. Unfortunately, hothead Mikhail’s no great shakes on the ice, has a serious drinking problem and screws up every chance he gets. Screenplay by Alexander Mindadze (who explored theme of potential exile better in “Dreaming of Space”) keeps going in circles as the brothers argue, then bear-hug, then argue again for an interminable 98 minutes. Helming by Andrei Proshkin (“Soldier’s Decameron”) remains uninspired; tech credits have a made-for-TV glossiness.