The Iron Claw Review

The Iron Claw
The Iron Claw
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From its very first moments, as Zac Efron’s ripped wrestler hauls himself out of bed and comes within inches of the camera, The Iron Claw – based on a true story – is a film about burden. Always buff and handsome as ever but in this role, playing Kevin Von Erich, the oldest son of a wrestling family. Efron is theatrically ripped; he looks like a man lifted weights for years on end by his ex-wrestler father (Holt McCallany) who is still looking to beat an industry that chewed him up and spit him out.

Kevin’s brothers join him at various times in the ring throughout their story. David (Harris Dickinson), the most talkative one can embrace showmanship. Kerry (Jeremy Allen White) was once an Olympic-qualifying athlete. Mike (Stanley Simons), however, represents the family’s legacy with his gentle soul and talents in music. They all believe that they are cursed as a result of which many members have died tragically.

As four actors together in nearly every scene, they make sure each sentence counts, while creating warmth and sincerity between them that contrasts with their dad’s parenting style that turns kindhearted men into stones. White’s thoughtfulness paired with his wide, sloping build counters Dickinson’s jocular demeanor or Efron’s more muted interpretation of the character. In unison they enter the ring; sometimes from far away through lenses’ eyes as if it were some ballet performed overhead.

Writer-director Sean Durkin has been working from strength to strength since he emerged in 2011 with Martha Marcy May Marlene but here Durkin has come off better than before indicating how big he wants to be concerning moviemaking: approaching the wrestling world which is occasionally for real violent and generally always performance-based art form became something tragic and beautiful simultaneously. It seems like Ghost Story in many ways, even in the middle of life nobody is wholly present at times, and Durkin collaborated with The Nest’s cinematographer Mátyás Erdély to give wrestling a hazy air of darkness when it spills out beyond the ring into the lives of these boys who are grappling with their demons.

As Kevin bears more burden on his broad shoulders due to what happens to the Von Erichs, Efron keeps pushing his performance into amazing new territory. While he still has his boy next door freshness from teenage heartthrob roles or playing college boys, there is a rawness that comes through as he moves through this film. He goes that extra mile by giving an incredible physical performance in addition to that. This is undoubtedly him at his best. However, The Iron Claw remains one of those films that shove all issues aside and leave us mesmerized only by Efron’s growth as an actor.

Read The Iron Claw Review on Fmovies

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