Take a Drink: whenever Mad Dog is mentioned.
Take a Drink: every time people mention how evil the drug companies are.
Do a Shot: every time Chris states how his life is shitty.
Take a Drink: for every reference to prescription drugs.
Do a Shot: to get it out of your system, because you’re not going to want to drink after this.
By: Frankie B. (Two Beers) –
I’m going to start this by stating that I am a huge Chris Bell fan. His past films Bigger, Stronger, Faster and Trophy Kids are two of the best documentaries that I have seen at this point in my life. His films offer very personal looks at varied topics that are primarily focused in the realm of sports. I heard that Prescription Thugs was in production a couple of years ago, and have been waiting anxiously to see what the final results were.
Prescription Thugs focuses on the effects that prescription drugs have on a series of individuals and how the pharmaceutical industry has become a corrupting force in America. Along the way we discover the documentarian, Chris Bell, is battling his own addiction while coping with the death of his brother, “Mad Dog” Mike. Chris consults politicians, athletes, and healthcare professionals for answers to why these drugs are so trusted and in many cases severely abused.
In my opinion, this is one of the most important documentaries that you will see this year. Screw Making A Murderer, Prescription Thugs is the one you should see. Prescription medicine abuse has the ability to touch us and everyone around us, so it was jarring to see the devastating effects of something given out like candy every minute of the day. One of the athletes in the movie describes how he needed to take dozens of pills just to get through the day. Holy shit that is built tolerance. Routinely throughout the course of the movie we are reminded how addictive painkillers are and we see how they affect Chris’s life in a variety of ways, each more devastating than the next. We also get to see him recover from his addiction with the help of his family and a treatment expert, Richard Taite.
As an indirect sequel to Bigger, Stronger, Faster, it succeeds in exploring the after effects of hard training and the years of physical abuse suffered by athletes. Don’t get me wrong, it explores how prescription drugs affect normal people, but the main focus is on how it affects high level athletes. Any athlete watching this will immediately relate to it, as the painkillers in the movie are routinely given out to mask the pain from most injuries suffered on the field. Really looking forward to the direct sequel to Bigger, Stronger, Faster, keeping my fingers crossed on that one.
The only real gripe that I have here is that the movie could have delved deeper into the subject matter. With the time constraints of a feature length documentary comes cuts to all of the material that you have. I’m sure that there was a ton of footage left on the cutting room floor. This would have made one hell of a Netflix or HBO miniseries, and it would have benefited from the additional time.
One of the best documentaries that you are going to see this year. If you have ever taken a painkiller or know anyone struggling with addiction, take the time to see see this. The evolution of Chris Bell continues here and I can’t wait to see where he goes next.