I have watched Pumping Iron (1977) a million times, each time the movie ends I convince myself that I am going to start training like Arnold and Louie, the movie is a pure Jem, even if you don’t have an interest in the sport, the story between Arnold the extrovert and Louie the introvert is fascinating.
Fast forward forty years and we have ” Generation Iron 2013” there are several body builders all giving their reasons why they should win the Mr Olympia contest, before long each competitor merges into another, in the finale the film starts to focus on the two men tipped to win it, Kai Green and Phil Heath, it becomes clear early on that there is no one with star quality in this film, Arnold was more than a big guy, he had personality, his ego and arrogance shines at the camera, matched with this you had Lou Ferrignos naive shy innocence.
Micky Rourke narrates the film, I like Micky but his voice sounds like he has just smoked a hedgehog, his vocal talents do not match the story very well in my opinion, after twenty minutes you have to remind yourself that you are not listening to Sin City 2.
Kai Green is a monster of a man but when he opens his mouth you can barely understand what he says, you could argue that Lou was in the same boat but when I watch Kai I see a man who is desperate for fame and success, if he was to get this via bodybuilding or reality TV he would not care.
Phil Heath looks fantastic but he too is missing that character that made Pumping Iron such a hit, he doubts himself and seems very self conscious about his media image, I am not taking away the men’s commitment to the sport, I just feel this movie is an example of all the things that society has become, to be a celebrity is key to everything, I know Arnold was ambitious but he played the game a little smarter than these current crop of posers.