Pumping Iron, released in 1977, introduced professional bodybuilding to the world and made celebrities of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Lou Ferrigno. In 2013, Generation Iron charted the sport's evolution into a global business, with six-figure cash prizes, branded supplement lines, and celebrity endorsements.
In Generation Iron 2, released May 13, director Vlad Yudin shows us a more sobering side of getting shredded. We meet the legendary and heavily muscled Iris Kyle, struggling to find her place after the discontinuation of the Ms. Olympia competition; the cartoonishly large Rich Piana, an internet-famous hate magnet coming to grips with decades of steroid abuse; and Calum von Moger, an Australian 20-something who has the genes to be the next Arnold but not the discipline. We also follow Generation Iron's Kai Greene: Once the sport's heir apparent, he's now taking improv classes and making comic books.
As with his first film, Yudin has crafted a meandering, brutally honest, and strangely moving tribute to life, liberty, and the pursuit of gains.
This article originally appeared in print under the headline "Generation Iron 2".