Bigger, Stronger, Faster

Rated 2.0

Directed by Chris Bell (who co-wrote with Alex Buono and Tamsin Rawady), this Michael Mooresque documentary about the use of anabolic steroids in sports hammers away at its themes as if holding certain truths to be self-evident: 1. Anabolic steroids aren’t all that bad; 2. Everybody cheats to get ahead; 3. It’s society’s fault because America hates a loser, etc. Bell’s film is almost poignant when he explores the steroid use of his two brothers, but—as if uncomfortable so close to home—he keeps lapsing into discursive rambling, like a bar-stool sociologist expounding grandiose, unfocused theories to explain his uneasiness about what’s really on his mind. Bell’s tone is defensive about his family and accusatory of everyone else, and he goes from poignant to amusing to tiresome to tedious to stupefying.