The Iron Claw – The DVDfever Cinema Review – Zac Efron

The Iron ClawThe Iron Claw The Iron Claw

The Iron Claw is a film that looked great from the trailer, as it tells the real-life tale of the Von Erich wrestling family, and its trademark ‘iron claw’ grip-to-the-face move, first brought in by patriarch Fritz (Holt McCallanySully: Miracle On The Hudson), before passing it down the line.

Beginning in 1979 with Fritz now retired, the mantle falls to Kevin (Zac EfronThe Greatest Beer Run Ever) to lead in the ring, yet after winning a match by default, he’s always got a sinking feeling that there’s a family curse, where things are always going wrong. Still, with his Mum – Doris (Maura TierneySafe and Sound: Philip K Dick’s Electric Dreams) – always obsessed with God, and his Dad with wrestling, maybe there’s a new direction for his life to take, with new girlfriend, Pam (Lily JamesBaby Driver).

However, his oldest brother died as a child, so it’s difficult to escape, while his father only cares about extending their success, hoping other brothers David (Harris DickinsonScrapper), Kerry (Jeremy Allen White) and Mike (Stanley Simons) will follow, although the latter is young and only interested in performing in a band, much to his parents’ annoyance, because they’re not hip and cool.

It also doesn’t help the family that, in 1980, the USA are adhering to the Moscow Olympics boycott, which dashes the Von Erich family’s hopes of participating and furthering their name.

Alas, what’s a disappointment for the viewer, is that while The Iron Claw has a very good performance from Zac Efron, as a whole – despite all of the family’s trials and tribulations – the film feels very one-note and pedestrian in the storytelling as it heads from 1979 to the mid-80s.

As an aside, the problems with screen 3 at the Odeon Trafford Centre are not yet resolved – four weeks after I saw Night Swim, since due to the stair lights being out, the main lights are left on DURING a film. I figured I’d give it a month, and there’s no change. Alas, on further enquiring, it appears a whole load of electrical work is being done, so this could take months to be fixed, and there’s no exact date for it to happen because it’s part of the whole. Such fun!

I did ask if they could put a note outside the screen to tell people, since that would save the staff having to answer the question every five minutes. But, apparently, it’s not possible to do this, and no reason was given. So, I’ve asked about putting a note on the website for any films in screen 3, which is probably a better bet, anyway. I won’t hold my breath, however. Common sense is in short supply, it seems…

The Iron Claw is in cinemas now, and is available to pre-order on Blu-ray and DVD, ahead of its release date TBA.

The Iron Claw – Official Trailer – Studiocanal

Detailed specs:

Running time: 132 minutes
Release date: February 9th 2024
Studio: Lionsgate / A24
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 (35mm)
Cinema: Odeon Trafford Centre
Rating: 4/10

Director: Sean Durkin
Producers: Sean Durkin, Juliette Howell, Angus Lamont, Tessa Ross, Derrin Schlesinger
Screenplay: Sean Durkin
Music: Richard Reed Parry

Kevin Von Erich: Zac Efron
David Von Erich: Harris Dickinson
Fritz Von Erich: Holt McCallany
Doris Von Erich: Maura Tierney
Pam: Lily James
Kerry Von Erich: Jeremy Allen White
Mike Von Erich: Stanley Simons
The Fabulous Freebirds: Brady Pierce, Silas Mason, Devin Imbraguglio
Harley Race: Kevin Anton
Young Kevin: Grady Wilson
Young David: Valentine Newcomer
Ring Announcer: Scott Innes
The Shiek: Chavo Guerrero Jr
Bill Mercer: Michael J Harney
Bruiser Brody: Cazzey Louis
Cereghino Jack Jr: Romeo Newcomer
Olympic Coach: Michael Papajohn