Pulling John (2009)

26 Mar

Do you know the above athlete? He has been at the top of his sports for years and a lot of his competitors don’t consider themselves good until they are able to beat him. If I say you might recognise him from the Sylvester Stallone movie Over the Top where he had a cameo. His name is John Brzenk and he is a professional arm wrestler and together with two other arm wrestlers he stars in this documentary about the world of arm wrestling.

Pulling John

When you see John Brzenk you wouldn’t think that he can beat guys that are a lot bigger than him (the heaviest one weighed 660 lbs according to Wikipedia) and his nickname is “The Giant Killer”, which makes him a very interesting guy. He seems very down to earth.
This is something that can’t be said about Travis Bagent, who is big and loud and very confident in his abilities. He’s an up and coming arm wrestler who seems to have a real shot at the world championship title in the heavyweight class.
There is another heavyweight arm wrestler who is very intimidating as well, which is the Russian Alexey Voyevoda. It’s amazing to see this guy train as three guys are pulling on his arm using ropes and him still able to win from them. His training facilities are very basic, but he’s someone who is focussed and very connected to nature.

These three guys all have their unique characteristics and as we saw them going through the various arm wrestling championships you really want them to win. The documentary explains the basics of the sport and although I would never start watching matches of this on TV it’s nice to get a look into this world.

Pulling John review

Pulling John is as exciting to watch as Warrior was and is easily comparable to Pumping Iron, where 3 men are followed as they prepare for their matches. Having no idea who would come out on top just added to the thrill of watching it. I wasn’t expecting a documentary about arm wrestling to hook me as much as this did.

Score: 9

Trailer

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