The Program (II) (2015)
6/10
Okay, but a missed opportunity.
17 January 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Understandably, the film had to be about Lance Armstrong from start to finish for commercial reasons, but having watched it I felt the film would have been so much more powerful if it had been completely told from Floyd Landis' perspective as long as the same character- led approach was taken by the director instead of a narrative-led one.

I have some knowledge of the Tour de France in the period depicted as well as the environment of the time, although I'm no expert. Time limitations mean that films have no choice but to leave out key moments, but my enjoyment and appreciation of the film was tarnished by the fact that so much of the context is compromised in favour of a sole focus on the personage of Lance Armstrong.

The film lacks drama due to ignoring the mounting suspicion that followed him throughout his reign and the fact that much of the public already doubted him, not least the French, which he had to face wherever he went. What went into that is much more fascinating than the story given, of a man who found a pharmacist and then hid it.

I also feel that the film fails in its primary goal: giving you an insight into Lance Armstrong. Evidence suggests he was far more single-minded and almost psychopathic than the film allows us to see. Either do a character study on Lance Armstrong or tell a story of his rise and fall. This film tries to do both and succeeds in neither in my view.

The film's worth watching if you're particularly interested in Lance Armstrong. If not, there are many far better movies to explore. This comes across like a made-for-TV drama. It's sad because I really like Lee Pace. I'd far recommend watching "The Armstrong Lie" instead.
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