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In the National Hockey League’s 90 years of existence, many superstars have changed the way the game is played on the ice, but few have changed the very nature of the game like Maurice “The Rocket” Richard. Charles Binamé’s biopic follows Richard’s life and parts of his 18-season-long career from his early years as a poverty-stricken machinist to NHL scoring sensation to Quebecois hero. Richard’s on-ice and in-the-headlines war against perceived anti-French bias within the Anglophile-dominated league eventually sparked the infamous 1955 “Richard Riot,” during which league president Clarence Campbell was pelted with trash by angry fans at the Montreal Forum and violence spilled out of the stadium. As Richard, French-Canadian actor Roy Dupuis perpetually wears the same expression of quiet determination whether he’s skating down the ice, dropping the gloves, or nursing an injury. In a league where several punches to your jaw will only cost your opponent five minutes in the penalty box, a stone face is a good thing, but it doesn’t make for a compelling film protagonist. The supporting cast does little to pick up the slack: As grizzled Canadiens coach Dick Irvin Sr., Stephen McHattie seems content to wander in and out of frame glaring at his players and motivating Richard by chewing him out; Richard’s wife, Lucille (Julie Le Breton), meanwhile, watches the on-ice abuse of her husband in a constant state of wide-eyed fear. Hockey fans will recognize several current and former NHL players, most noticeably Mike Ricci as Richard’s linemate, Elmer Lach, Vincent Lecavalier as teammate Jean Beliveau, and Sean Avery as the New York Rangers’ goonish enforcer Bob “The Killer” Dill—whom Richard fought while in the penalty box at Madison Square Garden. Like Dupuis, many of these casting choices seem based on the player’s uncanny likeness to his respective counterpart more than anything else, which speaks to the film’s strongest point: its commitment to historical accuracy. Ken Scott’s screenplay was reportedly fact-checked by Richard himself before he died in 2000—as well as by members of his family and the media—and cinematographer Pierre Gill’s hockey sequences faithfully depict the game play, equipment, and atmosphere of late-’40s and early-’50s hockey. That’s more foreign history lesson than compelling drama, though. And American audiences—who will forever hold the United States’ 1980 Winter Olympics “Miracle on Ice” victory over the Soviet Union in the place in their hearts reserved for nationalistic hockey pride—will likely have a hard time identifying with this depiction of one man’s humble fight for the dignity of the Quebecois.