Sunday, July 9, 2017

Now on HBO: Tour de Pharmacy (2017)

Tour de Pharmacy (2017) - Directed by Jake Szymanski; Written by Murray Miller; Starring Kevin Bacon, Orlando Bloom, Jeff Goldblum, James Marsden, Dolph Lundgren, Freddie Highmore, J.J. Abrams, Andy Samberg, Julia Ormond, John Cena, Maya Rudolph, Danny Glover, Mike Tyson, Phylicia Rashad, Nathan Fielder.

By Kenny Howell

HBO and Andy Samberg return to the fake sports documentary with this story about the 1982 Tour de France which saw nearly the entire group of participants disqualified because of doping.

After 7 Days in Hell, the fake tennis documentary a few years back, HBO teamed up once again with the team of Director Jake Szymanski and Writer Murray Miller for this one. It follows what is dubbed the fab five, the five cyclists that were left after a massive brawl reveals how pretty much everyone in the race was doping.

From there, they follow the five racers as they manage to screw up everything as well. Chief among those are Samberg (Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping) as Marty Haas, a cyclist from Nigeria, who really is only from Nigeria because his dad owned a diamond mine. There is also Jackie Robinson's nephew who wants to be the first African American cyclist to win the Tour de France, and a woman dressed up as a man. The story is told with news footage, as well as interviews from today which are played by different actors like Jeff Goldblum as the older Haas.

Tour de Pharmacy is not for everyone for sure. It is very absurdist, and just plain stupid in many parts, but lucky for me, I am that as well. It does seem a bit forced at times as they call on a huge plethora of sports icons as talking heads. Some work like Mike Tyson talking about his first love of cycling, and how he only found out he loved boxing after someone stole his bike and he beat the crap out of them. But others don't like Lance Armstrong, which is supposed to be doing an interview incognito but people keep turning the lights on so you know it is him. It's probably the biggest running gag of the film, and probably the one that works the least.

Still, at just over 40 minutes, there are plenty of laughs, enough to make the short time worth it. And hopefully it means they are going to make more of these, because this could be a nice little series of films over the years.

Tour de Pharmacy is now streaming on HBO Go and HBO Now.

Rating: ***

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