Andy Sambergs latest HBO sports “documentary” collaboration with director Jake Szymanski is laugh out loud hilarious. It covers the 1982 Tour de France, and shows what lengths the cyclists will go to in order to win, most of it involving drugs. As a fan of their previous tennis film ‘7 Days in Hell‘, I was expecting nothing less then total outrageousness with this one. When the film begins, one of the bicyclist’s has a heart attack riding down a hill with their penis hanging out of their shorts, and ends up flying off a cliff. There’s also a cyclist that injects Cheetah blood into their veins to give them an edge in the race. Needless to say, I wasn’t disappointed.
The film hops back and forth between the present, older cyclists and analysts, and the 1982 Tour de France. During the start of the tour, Italian cyclist, JuJu Peppi (Orlando Bloom) causes a pileup after attempting to grope a female spectator. This causes a massive brawl to break out between all the other cyclists, postponing the race until further notice. Police discover evidence of narcotics being used by the cyclists and it is revealed that UCI president Ditmer Klerken (Kevin Bacon) accepted bribes of $50,000 each from a majority of the competitors to skip the preliminary drug testing. Although all the cyclists are suspected of ‘doping’, the UCI allows the tour to continue with the five competitors who didn’t pay off Klerken: Peppi, American-born Nigerian cyclist Marty Hass (Andy Samberg/Jeff Goldblum), who literally knows nothing about Nigeria, but is representing them. French cyclist Adrian Baton (Freddie Highmore/Julia Ormond), who is secretly a woman named Adrianna Baton, disguised as a man so she can compete. African-American cyclist Slim Robinson (Daveed Diggs/Danny Glover), nephew of Jackie Robinson who wants to break the color barrier in cycling like Jackie did in baseball, and last but not least, Austrian cyclist Gustav Ditters (John Cena/Dolph Lundgren), who has gained a laughable amount of muscle mass from the previous year due to steroids (it shows the year before photo, and he’s literally a skeleton). We follow these five racers as they make their way through the grueling tour, and laugh a long with them.
The cast is hilarious and does an excellent job. John Cena and Nathan Fielder as drug analyst Stu Ruckman are the standouts for me. Stu and his drug paintings had me in stitches. James Marsden is perfect as Rex Honeycut, the interviewer capturing the entire tour. There’s plenty of guest appearances like J.J. Abrams & Mike Tyson. One of the best is Lance Armstrong, who is trying to hide his identity for safety purposes because of the drug information he’s giving. He’s in complete darkness with a voice masker, but things keep happening during his interview, which result in him getting more and more noticeable as the film goes on. The gags come at such a fast pace, I had tears in my eyes from laughing so hard.
It’s absolutely ridiculous, there’s no denying that. It’s the humor you’ve come to expect from the Lonely Island crew. If that’s your kind of thing, you’ll be in comedy heaven. If you haven’t seen 7 Days in Hell, I definitely urge you to check that one out as well. Let’s hope they keep making these films. I’m eagerly awaiting their next installment in this hilarious sports “documentary” franchise. – NVJ
Tour de Pharmacy is currently playing on HBO.