With much anticipation, I finally had the chance to view the newly released documentary regarding the follies of Lance Armstrong – "The Armstrong Lie".
Let me first say, that there are very few documentarians on the same level with Alex Gibney. And, further to his credit, what began as a glorious tale about the American cyclist, who at one point was given a death sentence as a result of wide-spread cancer, only to rise up and become one of the most celebrated athletes of our time, had to switch gears and become a story about lies and deception- and still remain balanced. This would be no easy task for any film to transition from, let alone a documentary. Because unlike films, good documentaries must deal in facts.
Still, in the final analysis, I felt that the documentary fell very far short of exposing the level of mendacity, complicity and outright cruelness associated with Armstrong and the whole menagerie of players involved. Indeed, at one point, I felt the story would have been better served by an "ABC After School Special", rather than a documentary that was suppose to give a trenchant view of Armstrong’s panoply lies and deceit and ruthless behavior – that led to the ruination of others.
While my criticisms may seem harsh, especially when one considers the fact that I possess no film making skills of my own whatsoever, I nevertheless have knowledge and understanding. And, in this case, it is my opinion that the true depth of "The Armstrong Lie" somehow got glossed over while seemingly trying to piece together a film.
A sequel is in order. Only this time it needs to follow the arrogance, which will lead to the "money", that will expose the accomplices, and hopefully later vindicate the victims.
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