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Student news of The Woodlands High School

The Caledonian

The Student News Site of The Woodlands High School
Student news of The Woodlands High School

The Caledonian

    The Iron Claw Movie Review


    “The Iron Claw”, A24’s latest film, is a biopic following the rise and fall of the Von Erich wrestling dynasty. Led by Zac Efron along with Jeremy Allen White, Harris Dickinson, Maura Tierney, Stanley Simons, Holt McCallany, and Lily James.

    With such a tragic story to follow, this film carries a heavy toll, one that the audience carries too.

    If you have any siblings, especially a brother, this film may be very emotional on a deeper level. On the surface it may seem to be a fun wrestling movie about a family making their way to the top, but there is so much more to it.

    In the middle of the havoc the brothers cause in the ring, there are deeper layers of drug/steroid abuse, depression, and the weight of familial expectations.

    Zac Efron portrays the tormented Kevin Von Erich, the eldest of the brothers, and the main focus of the story. We see from the very beginning his very simplified view on life. That being his family, specifically his brothers, and wrestling comes first, but that they are both the same in his eyes. He is very aware of one circulated rumor: The Von Erichs are cursed.

    As time goes on, his belief strengthens with the rest of his brothers, and they are not able to determine if it is mere fiction or fact.

    The family dynamics is where this film is at its strongest. Seeing it develop over the span of time within the film is what brings such an emotional punch.

    The brothers specifically are the strong point. If you ever had a brother or someone you considered your brother, this is how you remember the feeling of “the good times”. They live freely together, they support each other, and most importantly they care for each other.

    Even with their domineering father, Fritz Von Erich controlling most of their ambitions and futures, their brotherly bond keeps their spirits together.

    When the tragedies of the film start to happen, we have already spent some time with the brothers. We have connected with them, and the emotional impact becomes more personal in a sense.

    This impact would not have hit as hard if it were not for each actor’s performance.

    Efron has come a long way from fraternity houses and basketball musicals, with his best performance to date.

    As great as the film is with Efron as the leading man, he would be nothing without the other brothers.

    Jeremy Allen White plays Kerry Von Erich, a former Olympic athlete turned wrestler. Harris Dickinson is David Von Erich, another wrestler. Then there is Stanley Simons, who plays Mike Von Erich, a musician who then becomes a wrestler.

    As one of Hollywood’s most notable and successful actors recently, White brings nothing short of a great performance to the screen. The same being said for Dickinson and Simons, both of whom I have never seen in anything else, but brought the same weight needed as Efron and White had.

    For Simons, he plays a less than willing role in the wrestling world that makes him out to be one of the more tragic parts of the story.

    When it comes to this film’s performance as a biopic, it does a great job with its story, making it simple to follow.

    This does come at the cost of making some reductions in the timeline, such as when events take place being more condensed. I can’t get into anything specific without spoilers though.

    There is one big alteration to the story, that being a whole other brother being omitted from the final film.

    The story of Chris Von Erich is instead told through some of the other brothers, and in real life he had a much similar life to Mike. It is worth noting that one of the brothers did give his blessing to this decision before the film was released.

    Other than that, there is extreme accuracy shown in the film, through its time periods and excellent soundtrack. Especially with how the wrestling scene is portrayed.

    Every part of this film culminated in a final product that brought the audience to tears. I’m not joking when I say my whole row in the theater was crying, and then some.

    After all the tragedy and pain displayed, there is one final line left to the film that delivers the final nail in the coffin for the film’s tone and themes.

    Overall, “The Iron Claw” is as raw and emotional as it needed to be, showing the importance of brotherhood and familial ties. If you’re looking for a good cry or emotional rollercoaster in the theater, this is the film for you.

    “The Iron Claw” is out now in theaters everywhere.

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      Emma SammonJan 28, 2024 at 3:22 pm

      Excellent Patrick as always. This is one I plan to see based on your review.