Thursday, November 10, 2011

Pulling John

Pulling John is a documentary about the world of professional arm wrestling. It features John Brzenk who is to arm wrestling what Michael Jordan is to basketball and Wayne Gretzsky is to hockey. I knew next to nothing about the sport and have never cared much about it, but I still found this documentary to be very entertaining. Arm Wrestling is obviously a sport of strength, but technique also plays a huge role since there are certainly bigger and stronger athletes who get owned by the some of the smaller pros.

Pulling John reviews the career of John Brzenk who has dominated the sport for over 20 years. As he gets older he struggles to decide if he should retire while he is still at the top of his game or continue to participate in tournaments.

This documentary shows the rise of two other dominant arm wrestlers: Alexy Voevoda from Russia and Travis Bagent from USA and shows how their goal is to be able to beat the respected champion and take over his title as the greatest arm wrestler in the world.

It was very entertaining to see the different personalities of these athletes. John is quiet and humble, Voevoda is intense and contemplative, and Bagent is brash and cocky. It's hard not to like any of the athletes in this movie. There is a lot of pride on the line to see who is the strongest athlete. My wife kept rolling her eyes and saying " Guys are so different from women" throughout the entire movie. I could tell she still liked it though.

This documentary kind of reminded me of The King of Kong as it introduces you to the competitive nature of those participating in a sport you didn't even know existed. I also found it quite informative and educational. I give pulling John 7.6 stars. It was a low budget documentary about an obscure sport, but I thought it was pretty cool and I really enjoyed it.

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