Narrated by Oscar nominated Micky Rourke and featuring never seen before footage from the legendary Arnold Schwarzenegger comes the long awaited follow up to 'Pumping Iron'. The true story of dedication, rivalry, victory, defeat, redemption and triumph... The film examines the professional sport of bodybuilding today and gives us access to the lives of current bodybuilding stars Phil Heath, Kai Greene, Branch Warren, Dennis Wolf, Victor Martinez, Hidetada Yamagishi as well as ambitious newcomer Ben Pakulski and European sensation Roelly Winklaar on their journey to be crowned Mr. Olympia.
Men like Arnold Schwarzenegger pride themselves on their appearance and how they have crafted their bodies to how they want it. This idea that the perfect body is out there is a naïve viewpoint but one that is propagated in Generation Iron, a viewpoint so addictive to the men and women in this exclusive club that they devote themselves tirelessly in hopes of perfection, something they may never believe they have found.
The film follows some of the world's best bodybuilders as they all prepare to take part in one of the most prestigious bodybuilding competitions. The film follows the pressures of their training and the nerves and problems that arise for all of them as they prepare themselves for the pressures of the Mr Olympia competition.
While the talking heads from bodybuilders like Lou Ferrigno and the Governator himself help get you in the mind of the people the film is trying to honour there is a sense of simplicity to the film in how it progresses these human sculptures to the point where they can compete even though the competition itself carries little weight. The buildup to the main event is where most of the films tensions arise but to a viewer who doesn't understand the desire of bodybuilding and the addiction that it can cause then its hard to get invested in the films message.
That being said it is hard not to be impressed by the devotion that everyone shows to their own bodies. The characters presented in the film are unique and interesting and are unlike any other people depicted in film as they candidly discuss and rave about their own sculpting in a way that almost makes you care about it in the way that they can but in the end its hard to devote yourself to a film you don't quite understand and while everyone can understand bettering yourself it is hard to see this as self improvement, more as self indulgent