It's the American Dream, transposed to a new capitalist Russia: a smart kid works his way up to the top of a marketing empire. But then things get strange and somehow monsters manifest themselves onto people loyal to brand-name products. Jamie Bradshaw and Aleksandr Dulerayn's Branded is nothing more than a freshman's first term paper for a sociology 101. There are grandiose ideas about the enslavement of humanity to unbridled capitalism and marketing, but then it turns around and kills a cow because that's what a dream told the main character Misha (Ed Stoppard) to do. And like an under-thought essay, mistakes abound — like forgetting to explain how marketing affects people and the paradox of fat-shaming a population addicted to fast food. Borderline offensive and overly dense, the movie makes a lecture on Marx more enjoyable, though it is unsure of what it wants to be: a sci-fi thriller or a socialist parable. Jeffery Tambor and Max von Sydow are inexplicably drawn in, but they can shed no light on the film's twisted logic.