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“The Iron Claw:” A devastating film based on true events

“The Iron Claw” is now streaming on Apple TV and Amazon Prime. The movie is rated R and was produced by A24. Movie poster is from A24

On Dec. 22, 2023, wrestling fans hit a home run with the release of the film “The Iron Claw.”

The film follows the devastating story of the Von Erich family and the hardships they went through while pursuing careers in professional wrestling.

Personally, I have never had any interest in wrestling. It has never been something I have found entertaining, so when I came to the theater to watch the film, I was a bit skeptical.

Once the film was over and I found myself sitting in my seat in tears, my opinions on wrestling and the film as a whole were completely changed.

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With the budget of the film being $15.9 million, people anticipating the release of the film were getting high hopes for a high-quality film.

“Before the movie, I really did not know what to expect. When I heard the movie was about wrestling, I thought I was going to hate it,” Ankeny High (AHS) senior Roque Hansen said. “But after seeing the movie, it is one of my favorites now. I tell everyone to see it because it was much different than I thought it would be.”

The parents of the brothers Kevin, Kerry, David, and Mike, put immense pressure on their sons to become successful with wrestling. Wrestling began to consume the lives of the sons while they were seeking the approval of their father.

“With a father who came so close to the world title I assumed he would raise his kids in his footsteps and have an influence. While that did happen, the film took a step further with an in-depth display of the impacts this had on the kids,” AHS senior Michael Dunlavey said.

Throughout the entirety of the film, there is incredible acting performed by Zac Efron, Jeremy Allen White, and Harris Dickinson. Some fans and viewers of the film believe that these actors’ performances are some of the best in their careers.

The actors themselves have explained the physical dedication they had put in when playing their roles. Allen White revealed that in order to play his role in the film, he had to gain 40 pounds in muscle. He tried to eat anything he could while cutting out cardio and strictly sticking to weightlifting, Entertainment reports.

The film also includes a top-tier soundtrack that mostly consists of music made in the 70s to early 80s. It perfectly aligns with the overall feel of the film with artists such as Blue Öyster CultLed Zeppelin, and Rush. The soundtrack instantly transports you into the setting and helps display the 70s and 80s feel throughout the film.

The film also displays great use of well-thought-out cinematography. Director Sean Durkin loved the place where the Von Erichs wrestled, which drew him to the family as a whole.

With all of these important aspects, the film’s plot was portrayed in a very dramatic and intense way. The use of different cinematic techniques worked together to help portray the devastating story of the brothers and the struggles they went through while pursuing their careers as wrestlers. Each brother went through extremely traumatic experiences that altered their lives and careers as wrestlers. An example of this is the mental illnesses that occurred as well as the pressure applied by their father.

Overall, the film does an excellent job displaying its use of thought-out cinematography, top-tier acting, a perfectly fitting soundtrack, as well as various other factors that make the film come together as a whole.

“The film really gave you a connection with the characters on screen. The performance by Zac Efron and Jeremy Allen White was incredible,” AHS senior Cole Petersen said. “With the ending being truly devastating, it leaves you feeling a powerful connection with the film. If you have brothers, the film will leave you speechless.”

Overall, I believe the film perfectly captures the various emotions felt by the brothers and displays those emotions perfectly on screen. The thought-out cinematography in the film makes it an enjoyable watch. The acting is perfectly executed and personally, I believe the best performance ever done by the actors.

The film was completely different than the expectations I had set for it. All of the different aspects work together to make a perfectly executed film about a struggling family. I would definitely recommend this film to anyone, even those who do not have an interest in wrestling.

“The Iron Claw” scores 5/5 stars from me.

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Rose McGill
Rose McGill, Staff Reporter
Rose McGill is a senior at Ankeny High School. In her free time she enjoys hanging out with her friends and pets. She has two dogs (Ivy and Annie) and three cats (Eleanor, Lily, and Luna). Rose enjoyed journalism in junior year and helped work on putting articles onto the website. Post graduation, Rose is planning on going to college to earn a degree in journalism or broadcasting.
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