The Iron Claw Brings a Real Life Wrestling Tragedy to the Screen

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The Iron Claw Review

The Von Erich family is known for shaping the world of wrestling as fans know it today. Starting in a small town ring and taking their act internationally, the family didn’t seem to have much that could stop them – except a family curse. A24 is bringing the family’s story to the big screen in the new film The Iron Claw, named after a wrestling move that the father Fritz made famous in the ring during his years of popularity.

The movie follows the family as they reach for the stars to become the biggest name in professional wrestling, and to make their mark on the sport by bringing it to television. But along the way, the family curse seems to kick in as each of the sons struggles to take their place in the spotlight, or tragedy befalls them. It seems like the story goes quickly through time, but there isn’t much time between the accidents and deaths that keep haunting the family and it’s almost hard to get into the story.

The persistence of Fritz to make his boys stars and to run the family business seems extreme and borders on abuse and neglect as he is willing to sacrifice their lives for money is a hard pill to swallow. Along with their mother’s frigid response to their emotional needs and wants.

The whole movie is dark, sad, and tragic – which if you go to the theater to watch a movie about tragedy upon tragedy this might be a movie you want to see. It is, however, not a movie for everyone.

Do Zac Efron, Jeremy Allen White, Harrison Dickeon, and Maxwell Jacob Friedman portray the brothers well? Yes. However, the almost extreme body transformation that Efron did for the role is distracting throughout the whole movie.

Wrestling fans and people who were fans of the Von Erich brothers during their time will no doubt love The Iron Claw. It stays pretty true to the story and the tragedies that the family endured. There are some major changes to the story like one of the brothers being removed from the story completely. Was this done for time savings (the movie already comes in over 2 hours), or to try to not do an emotional blow to fans? Either way, the movie is heavily laden with death and tragedy from the start until the end.

Is this the type of movie that non-wrestling fans are going to enjoy? Most likely not. Sure, the story has some interesting bits, but it goes from the wrestling mat to funerals so fast there really isn’t much time to enjoy or get to them. With a family so focused on their family legacy and curse, it’s hard to get into the movie if you’re not a fan of the wrestlers or the sport.

The Iron Claw will be in theaters everywhere on December 22nd.

Overall Rating:

Three Stars Review

About The Iron Claw:

The true story of the inseparable Von Erich brothers, who make history in the intensely competitive world of professional wrestling in the early 1980s. Through tragedy and triumph, under the shadow of their domineering father and coach, the brothers seek larger-than-life immortality on the biggest stage in sports.

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