REVIEW: Icarus

This is the fourth installment of Taylor’s “Final [Film] Countdown of 2017,” in which he rushes to watch as many good movies from 2017 as possible before the year’s Oscars ceremony.

This is my first documentary in the weekend marathon, and I found what I usually found with documentaries: that I had trouble maintaining interest the whole way through. This is more my fault than Icarus‘, however, as Icarus is easily the most interesting of the documentaries I saw in 2017. The whole movie unfolds in such a crazy, high-stakes way that you can hardly believe it’s real.

Certain sequences feel more like a spy thriller or an espionage movie than a documentary. Basically, the documentarian starts off by talking to a Russian doctor about how he can dope himself in order to achieve better results in a race. In short, he’s trying to expose steroid usage from the inside, showing that even an average joe on HGH can hang with the pros. It’s Supersize Me with steroids.

Until it dramatically stops being that. To say more than that would be to spoil the fun of this Netflix documentary, and I highly recommend avoiding further spoilers. I think part of my enjoyment of this film was slightly robbed by knowing in advance what the true subject of the documentary was.

That said, it was still a pretty good time.

Best Part: The doctor’s frantic Skype calls around the middle of the movie. (Kept vague for spoilers.)

Worst Part: Immediately after that segment, the film hits a slight skid in momentum before regaining composure by explaining itself.


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