The Armstrong Lie (★★★ Empire Review)

ArmstrongLieSquareFour years after a doping scandal derailed his documentary about cancer survivor and competitive cycling champion Lance Armstrong, Alex Gibney recycles his footage for a very different film.

For two decades, cancer survivor and competitive cycling champion Lance Armstrong defied the homily about cheats and prosperity, until a long overdue doping bust destroyed his reputation, stripped him of his Tour de France victories, and derailed Gibney’s documentary, originally set to be about Armstrong’s 2009 comeback. Now, armed with his denial-era interviews and a candid new session with the disgraced athlete, Gibney comes to bury, not praise, yet he arguably soft-pedals the betrayal of millions of cycling fans and Armstrong’s wristband-wearing acolytes. It’s still a complex, confounding tale of moral relativism – if everyone else is doing it, why can’t I? – and institutionalised corruption.

VERDICT
Lance Armstrong is such a liar, his cycling shorts should be on fire. But Gibney never goes in for the kill – heck, he was tougher on Julian Assange. ★★★

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