Hear it staight from the Legends themselves about their stories of success and heartbreak. EVOLUTION OF BODYBUILDING offers a close look at what it takes to compete in the "Mr. Olympia" and... See full summary »
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In America, we define ourselves in the superlative: we are the biggest, strongest, fastest country in the world. Is it any wonder that so many of our heroes are on performance enhancing drugs? Director Christopher Bell explores America's win-at-all-cost culture by examining how his two brothers became members of the steroid-subculture in an effort to realize their American dream. Written by
This doc outlines the current situation regarding the use of steroids as performance enhancers, bodybuilding drugs and in conventional medicine. The film does a pretty good job of outlining the facts and the pseudo-science behind some claims as well as letting us hear peoples views on steroids, where they are actually being used and to what effect.
Where this film becomes unique and interesting is in the story of our narrator and filmmaker Mike Bell. Mike is one of 3 brothers who all grew up watching pro wrestling and 80's action movies. Into their teens they became football players, then wrestlers and eventually competitive power lifters. Today, his 2 brothers use steroids to enhance their performance whereas Mike is totally anti steroids.
The agenda of the film is clearly setup as a predictable anti steroids expo but as the debate opens up the film progresses into something different and much more interesting. At times evidence is in defence of steroids and though I wouldn't go as far as to say it is a pro steroids film, it's certainly open-ended. The film itself is presented and produced really quite well. We even touch on some wider issues of genetic modification in livestock, which somehow comes out in defence of steroids as they are quite simply not to blame for these monstrous beef hulks.
Without conclusion, the film gives us a well-rounded outline of the debate as well as introducing us to some tragic and not so tragic characters along the way.
This film succeeds in entertaining and provoking debate and is really well paced. The mix of factual investigation and personal stories and interviews strikes a balance rare in documentary and quite satisfying to watch. Worth a look.
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