Details from IMDB:
The Iron Claw
The true story of the inseparable Von Erich brothers, who made history in the intensely competitive world of professional wrestling in the early 1980s.
I used to watch wrestling, I used to go matches, I had the toys, I even had the ring, wrestling was big in the 80s, at least where I live. I say this but that wasn’t the reason I wanted to see this movie, it was recommended by a podcaster I enjoy (Rebecca Frost from Geekshow) and Zac Efron has become a much better actor. So luckily it was still in theatres here, so we saw it yesterday (Sunday) at our Cineplex.
The movie shows plenty of wrestling and they are fun scenes. Wrestling is a soap opera for guys (mostly) and it is entertaining to watch, more so when you get to see behind the scenes. While wrestling is important to this movie, really it’s about the Von Erich family and how messed up they are. There is lots of talk in the movie about the Von Erich curse but I think ultimately that while they certainly have bad luck, most of it is the horrible mess the father creates by pushing his sons so hard and making them bury their feelings.
Zac Efron (here’s something I didn’t think I would be typing) is fantastic here. Aside from all the stunts he did (he learned a lot about wrestling and really worked at it), his acting was excellent throughout, he carried the movie several times for me. He really showed how bottling up emotions just caused him to explode in fits of violence and spend time away from his wife and kids. It’s a movie that really makes you think about family, love, happiness and healthy ways to deal with emotions. Also I have to say as a former wrestling fan the match scenes are top notch, I would have liked to have seen a few more and maybe a couple less scenery shots.
There a scene at the end that goes something like this “I’m sorry boys for you to see me cry, a man shouldn’t cry.” “You can cry dad, everyone cries.” I was surprised for a based on a true story wrestling movie to really hit me at the end, it’s a strange thing that in society (something I heard a lot growing up) it’s fine for a woman to cry but not a man. So maybe you have a messed up family and you can’t stand to be around some of them (I hope not but lots of people do). Ultimately as hard as it may be you have to find a chosen family and they become what matters most to you. As much as I enjoyed this movie it was a little long, I would take out maybe 10 minutes and I think we so many brothers (5 in total but only 4 in 99% of the movie) it was hard to do them all justice. Parts of the plot seemed sped up to me, especially towards the end but as I said I wouldn’t want it to run longer either, so not an easy fix. I give this a solid 8 out of 10 and would recommend it to anyone who can handle mature themes, blood, violence, coarse language and depictions of suicide (not graphic but still troubling). Ages 18+, please don’t let your kids see this. Efron could win a big one for this and he deserves it, I hope he at least gets nominated. My wife enjoyed this movie too, seriously go for Efron’s performance if nothing else, you’ll be glad you did.