Tour de Pharmacy (2017)

Tour de Pharmacy (2017)

A breezy send-up of cycling’s doping scandal and a gloriously silly comedy in its own right



United States of America
English, Finnish, French
Comedy, Drama, TV Movie
Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Andy Samberg, Chris Romano
41 min


You might say this is… wheelie funny.

What it's about

A look back at the climactic fictional events of the 1982 Tour de France.

The take

This HBO mockumentary is part-pastiche of the mythologising sports documentary, part-zany comic creation of its own. Tour de Pharmacy tells the incredible untrue story of the 1982 Tour de France, the most chaotic iteration of the race that never happened. Of the original 170 cyclists, all but five were disqualified for bribing the deep-in-debt president of cycling’s governing body (Kevin Bacon), leaving only Italian-a sensation-a JuJu Peppi (Orlando Bloom); secret female racer Adrian Baton (Julia Ormond and Freddie Highmore); frustrated nephew of Jackie Robinson, Slim (Daveed Diggs); a roided-out Austrian (John Cena); and Marty Hass (Andy Samberg), a Nigerian cyclist despised by his country.

Tragedy, scandal, and surprising romance unfold across the documentary’s chronicling of the race’s 21 stages, with plenty of digressions along the way — from a riotous interview with the head of the sport’s anti-doping agency (played by Nathan Fielder) to an animated explanation of red and white cells that devolves into a surreally bloody civil war. The humor zooms between the high-brow (French New Wave references delivered by JJ Abrams) and the R-rated from scene to scene, making this breezy mockumentary a wild ride of its own.

What stands out

It’s an understatement to describe Tour de Pharmacy’s cast as stacked: it features Mike Tyson and JJ Abrams playing themselves, and includes memorable bit parts from Danny Glover, Dolph Lundgren, Phylicia Rashad, and Maya Rudolph (as a sex-obsessed cycling journalist). Jon Hamm and Edgar Wright provide the aggrandizing narration, while James Marsden is roped in to play a posh BBC reporter who, in a twisty development, becomes the race’s dark horse. Tour de Pharmacy’s big joke relies on one other castmember whose identity we won’t spoil — though that’s not a courtesy the documentary-makers grant him when they accidentally shine a light into his blacked-out-for-anonymity’s-sake silhouette.

Active Streaming Deals

$50 Off DirecTV Stream



Active Streaming Deals

69% Off NordVPN + 3 months Free



Active Streaming Deals

50% Off Sling



Active Streaming Deals

49% Off ExpressVPN




Add a comment

What did you think? Who should watch it?




Killers of the Flower Moon (2023)

Martin Scorsese grapples with harrowing history and the limits of storytelling in this monumental masterpiece


Paris Je T’aime (2006)

An anthology ode to the City of Love stacked with talent behind and in front of the camera


Fair Play (2023)

You can't go wrong with the thrill of losing money, power, and love, all in one film


The Double Life of Véronique (1991)

A melancholic and entrancing drama that explores identity and intimate connections through two identical women whose lives briefly intersect


Happy as Lazzaro (2018)

A witty Italian comedy


Mid-August Lunch (2009)

A gorgeous, warm Italian comedy about a special kind of sleepover


Broadcast News (1987)

A romantic and bittersweet drama set in the hectic world of TV news


Delicatessen (1991)

The best synchronized chaotic film you’ll ever see


The Hottest Summer (2023)

An Italian romcom that succeeds at being sexy, but at the expense of being unique and challenging


Beau travail (1999)

Claire Denis’ portrait of masculine angst and decaying military tradition is an operatic juggernaut


Curated by humans, not algorithms.

agmtw logo

© 2023 agoodmovietowatch, all rights reserved.