Tour de Pharmacy

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Tour de Pharmacy
Tour de Pharmacy.jpg
Promotional poster
Written byMurray Miller
Directed byJake Szymanski
Narrated byJon Hamm
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
  • M. Elizabeth Hughes
  • Andy Samberg
  • Murray Miller
  • Jake Szymanski
  • David Bernad
Running time41 minutes
Original networkHBO
Original releaseJuly 8, 2017 (2017-07-08)

Tour de Pharmacy is a 2017 sports doping mockumentary television film directed by Jake Szymanski, starring Andy Samberg, Orlando Bloom, Freddie Highmore, Daveed Diggs, and John Cena.[1][2][3] It premiered on HBO on July 8, 2017.[4]


On the first day of the 1982 Tour de France, Italian cyclist JuJu Peppi (Orlando Bloom) accidentally causes a pileup after attempting to grope a bikini clad female spectator, which causes a massive brawl to break out between all the other cyclists, postponing the race until further notice. Police find 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 forego 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), who is resented by Nigeria for being the one to represent the country, French cyclist Adrian Baton (Freddie Highmore), who is secretly a woman named Adrianna Baton disguised as a man so she can compete, African-American cyclist Slim Robinson (Daveed Diggs), nephew of Jackie Robinson who wants to break the color barrier in cycling like Jackie did in baseball, and Austrian cyclist Gustav Ditters (John Cena), who had gained a considerable amount of muscle mass from the previous year due to steroids.

Before resuming the race, the five agree to take turns at the front so everyone else can draft to conserve their energy before the finish line. However, when the race resumes, no one is willing to ride up front, so the cyclists attempt to go as slowly as possible to conserve their energy. This allows Robinson to enjoy the scenery and he eventually leaves the race with a female spectator to become the first black French dairy farmer. Before the end of the day, Ditters is taunted by a spectator for being unable to go fast. When the race resumes ten days later, an enraged Ditters goes as fast as possible to win the day, much to the shock of observers. Believing he had used enhancements, police raid his apartment and find that he had been doping himself with cheetah's blood, which gets Ditters disqualified. When the race resumes, Peppi dies when he overexerts himself, causing his heart to explode within his chest, and falls off a cliff.

Hass and Baton are the only competitors left, but they end up becoming attracted to each other and pause the race to go have sex in the woods. Hass finds out Baton's true identity and agrees to keep it a secret, which inadvertently turns him into a gay sports icon. When they resume the race, they tie their bicycles together to make sure they both win simultaneously. On the final day of the race, BBC reporter Rex Honeycut (James Marsden), who had ridden alongside the competitors for real time interviews during the race, is told that because he had ridden all laps of the race and registered to ride on the Tour, he is eligible to win the Tour de France and makes an attempt to do so. Baton detaches from Hass and jumps at Honeycut, knocking him to the ground so Hass can win the race. Honeycut is shown to have motorized his bicycle to keep up with the cyclists. Baton's true identity is exposed and is sent to 35 years in prison for manslaughter as Honeycut had been accidentally killed during the scuffle.

Hass looks set to win the Tour de France until Robinson, who had missed the thrill of cycling, rushes out to the front and wins the race by 73 feet. Robinson relishes being the first African-American to excel at cycling like his uncle did at baseball, while Hass laments that Baton's sacrifice was in vain.

Present day interviews are conducted with Hass (Jeff Goldblum), Baton (Julia Ormond), Robinson (Danny Glover), and Ditters (Dolph Lundgren), along with other outside observers including disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong who insists on remaining anonymous.



In looking to make a follow up to 7 Days in Hell, Samberg and his crew looked for a sport that could be displayed cheaply while also having comic potential.[5] In researching, the team found "so much strange behavior surrounding the sport," telling Vulture that "...we felt like it was a funny thing to really exaggerate and blow up for comedic purposes."[5] Although much of the cast consists of fans of the sport this was not a prerequisite. Lance Armstrong's role was written in the knowledge that he might not want to be involved, but after being contacted by Samberg, the cyclist agreed to take part.[5]

The film's race scenes were shot over the course of four days, and the interviews filmed over a longer period, to accommodate the stars' schedules.[6] To maintain an 80's aesthetic, much of the race footage was shot on Betamax cameras, with "sideline footage" shot on VHS.[6]


Tour de Pharmacy received generally positive reviews, but some criticized Lance Armstrong's appearance.[7][8] On the review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes, Tour de Pharmacy holds an 88% approval rating based on 17 reviews with an average rating of 7.5/10.[9] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 71 out of 100 based on reviews from 13 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[10]

The Atlantic's Sophie Gilbert commented, "it takes the thorny subject of doping in professional cycling and turns it into pure, gleeful mayhem", later calling the mockumentary "insane, filthy, and totally fun".[11] Uproxx's Alan Sepinwall praised the film for its silliness, calling it the "funniest 40 minutes of TV you’ll see this week".[7] The San Francisco Chronicle's David Wiegand commented that "early moments of the film almost feel like a real documentary".[12] The New York Times' Neil Genzlinger asked whether it was "O.K. for a mockumentary about a tarnished sport to include in its cast the athlete responsible for much of the tarnishing?", questioning whether Lance Armstrong's appearance "will leave an icky aftertaste". Genzlinger also called "this star-filled parody [...] a hilarious home run".[13] The Los Angeles Times' Robert Lloyd wrote, "it's a sketch, essentially, effectively blown out to 40 minutes — not too short, not too long."[14]


  1. ^ Getell, Oliver (July 15, 2016). "Andy Samberg reteams with HBO for doping comedy Tour de Pharmacy". Entertainment Weekly. Time. Retrieved July 16, 2016.
  2. ^ Petski, Denise (July 15, 2016). "Andy Samberg & Murray Miller Return To HBO With Sports Doping Mockumentary". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved July 16, 2016.
  3. ^ Ausiello, Michael (July 15, 2016). "Andy Samberg's Bike Doping Limited Series Tour de Pharmacy Ordered at HBO, Hamilton's Daveed Diggs to Star". TVLine. Penske Business Media. Retrieved July 22, 2016.
  4. ^ Wright, Megh (May 19, 2017). "Andy Samberg's HBO Mockumentary 'Tour de Pharmacy' Premieres in July". Vulture Comedy. New York Media. Retrieved August 27, 2018.
  5. ^ a b c Yuan, Jada (July 8, 2017). "Andy Samberg on His HBO Sports-Comedy Tour de Pharmacy, Male Genitalia, and What's Next for Brooklyn Nine-Nine". Vulture. New York Media. Retrieved July 11, 2017.
  6. ^ a b Miller, Liz Shannon (July 8, 2017). "'Tour De Pharmacy': How The HBO Cycling Mockumentary Packed In Its Incredible Stars, Including Lance Armstrong". IndieWire. Penske Business Media. Retrieved July 11, 2017.
  7. ^ a b Sepinwall, Alan (July 6, 2017). "The '7 Days In Hell' Team Reunites For The Silliness Of 'Tour De Pharmacy'". Sepinwall. Uproxx. Retrieved August 27, 2018.
  8. ^ Fienberg, Daniel (July 6, 2017). "Tour de Pharmacy: TV review". The Hollywood Reporter. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved August 27, 2018.
  9. ^ "Tour de Pharmacy (2017)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved August 27, 2018.
  10. ^ "Tour de Pharmacy Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved April 27, 2018.
  11. ^ Gilbert, Sophie (July 7, 2017). "Competitive Cycling Gets an Absurd, Star-Studded Mockumentary". The Atlantic. The Atlantic Monthly Group. Retrieved April 27, 2018.
  12. ^ Wiegand, David (July 3, 2017). "'Tour de Pharmacy' is dopey fun". San Francisco Chronicle. Hearst Communications. Retrieved April 27, 2018.
  13. ^ Genzlinger, Neil (July 6, 2017). "Review: Raunchy Detours on the 'Tour de Pharmacy'". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved April 27, 2018.
  14. ^ Lloyd, Robert (July 7, 2017). "Andy Samberg's 'Tour de Pharmacy' is loaded with cameos and comedy". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 27, 2018.

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