With so much talk around doping in sport and the highly anticipated Icarus doping documentary landing on Netflix next month, there couldn’t have been a more relevant or controversial time to release this mockumentary about doping in the Tour De France. With an all star cast and some genuinely funny moments, Tour De Pharmacy delivers a solid slice of comedy at the perfect length of 40 minutes.
The story follows a 1982 Tour De France that cleverly pokes fun in cycling and all different styles of documentary. Its clever back-and-forth between old style BBC coverage and interviews with the characters and famous people is done well and has some solid laughs throughout. There are times where its raunchiness and unncessary nudity does overpower the cleverness of the satire but overall, this HBO comedy hits the right spot. The 40 minute length works well with this sort of humour as all too often the jokes run dry early on and make for a tedious watch but the quick tempo and the regular jumps back to the action and interviews help to break some of the monotony.
Its certainly an aquired taste and with Lance Armstrong controversially featured throughout, poking fun at the doping industry, this sort of tongue in cheek humour will not appeal to everyone. For those who do decide to give Tour De Pharmacy a go, are treated to an all star cast including wrestler John Cena, Jeff Goldblum and more who take on some of the wild personas in the Tour De France. This is by far the best part of the film, seeing how these characters slot in the wild story and seeing Jeff Goldblum play an eccentric Nigerian who’s loathed by his fellow countryman is well worth its weight in gold.
To summarise then, its hard not to like Tour De Pharmacy. Whether you like cycling or not, the documentary pokes fun in the sport and takes a different approach to the doping scandal so prevalent in sport nowadays. Part of its charm lies in its genuis release date which couldn’t have been timed better and at 40 minutes, its just the right length without feeling tedious or overlong. While it lasts Tour De Pharmacy is a bitesize mockumentary that is certainly worth checking out.
- Verdict - 7/107/10