The Armstrong Lie


2013. Made by Alex Gibney. 

We all know the story.

Remember Armstrong’s book It’s not about the Bike.  Sure you do.  It was the one that wasn’t about bikes. He was right. Winning the Tour de France was actually about getting the best crooked doctor to administer EPO and blood transfusions so that he could perform 10% better.

This fine fellow Alex Gibney started off making a documentary to chronicle Armstrong’s return to the Tour in 2009.  At that time Armstrong was still officially innocent of all doping allegations. Following Armstrong’s admission, Gibney turned the project into this. 

There are many different angles to The Armstrong Lie. More angles than a parallelogram.

Armstrong really was an exceptional rider.  He really did beat cancer and raise hundreds of millions of dollars for charity. He really did do a whole bunch of doping. He really did get vicious and vengeful in his denial of the allegations. It really was his hubris in making the 2009 comeback that stuffed everything up for him. 

And he really is called Lance Armstrong. There, gentle readers, is a Power Name. It´s a Mr. P. Name.  It’s got a frigging weapon in there, a body part, the word strong. 

Lance. Big. Swinging. Dick. Arm. Strong. 

And he really did make a cameo in Dodgeball and tell Vince Vaughn not to make decisions that will haunt him forever.  That´s more irony than a Tony Abbott housewife. 

Armstrong´s is a fascinating story, and this film told me about as much as I wanted to know about it. Good work Gibney. This will probably be the documentary on the whole affair.  Perhaps a 6/10 is a bit harsh but I just think it could have done more. It lacks focus.  There’s no emotional uppercut.  It does go on.

And so do I. Lance just wanted a chance to take Nance to the dance. 

If other people are breaking the rules as well are you really cheating?  Yes. Though Gibney lets Lance have the last word on in that particular quibble.  Quibbling is unbecoming. It just don´t become. 

The end. 

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