Review (Scott McCutcheon 09/02/24)

In terms of audience response, and box-office, Hollywood sports dramas don’t always travel well across the Atlantic. The Wrestler in 2008 garnered some of the best reviews of Mickey Rourke’s career but hardly had the cash tills wringing in cinemas. Sadly I wouldn’t be surprised if The Iron Claw suffers the same fate. Zac Efron will no doubt be rightly praised for his outstanding performance but, like The Wrestler, this nitch film could struggle to find an audience.

The Iron Claw tells the story of the Von Erich brothers who, spurred on by their domineering father (Holt McCallany) in the late 70’s early 80s, won numerous titles in the competitive world of professional wrestling.

The Erich brothers are four in total, three take up their fathers interest in wrestling, Zac Efron is Kevin Von Erich, Jeremey Allen White is Kerry and Harris Dickinson is David, whilst the fourth brother Mike (Stanley Simons) is, much to his father’s disgust, more interested in music.

Director Sean Durkin, whose last film was the underrated The Nest in 2020, really struggles to bring any feeling of drama to his story. Yes the brothers all have their own tragic stories but the tension is often broken by the numerous fight scenes that pepper the film.

Much like the Wrestler, which is remembered for Mickey Rourke’s performance, The Iron Claw will more than likely be remembered for its lead actors performance and not much more than that.


The Iron Claw

Director: Sean Durkin
Cast:  Zac Efron, Jeremy Allen White, Harris Dickinson, Maura Tierney, Stanley Simons, with Holt McCallany and Lily James

US Release: Cinemas 9th February 2024
US Release: December 22, 2023