Family can bring us close, but it can also destroy us.
Such is the message of ‘The Iron Claw’, the true story of wrestling’s famous Von Erich family – though the sport itself certainly takes a back seat in their journey.
What could have been an incredible family story of success in the growing entertainment spectacle of wrestling in the 1980s instead turned into one of tragedy; one family should not face so much sorrow.
But it is also a harsh warning of parental influence – led by family patriarch, Fritz Von Erich (Jack Adkisson).
The film’s story primarily focuses on the second oldest son Kevin Von Erich (Zac Efron), who today is the only one of the immediate family still alive.
The story of Kevin and his brothers is equal parts heartfelt as it is frustrating, but at its core it is one of sadness and turmoil, lowlighted by immense tragedy and heartbreak.
Early in the film, Fritz declares that too much has been taken from his family – referring to his own disappointment in wrestling and son Kerry (Jeremy Allen White) having his Olympic dream quashed – which offers some insight into his persona.
He becomes so determined for his sons to succeed, that he is more interested in a wrestling belt sitting on the dining room table than he is having a happy family sitting around it.
‘The Iron Claw’ is not the best biopic out there, but it’s a fascinating story that will have you doing plenty of research afterwards and perhaps shedding a tear, especially if you have brothers.
See this movie at Hoyts Penrith.
Troy Dodds is the Weekender’s Managing Editor and Breaking News Reporter. He has more than 20 years experience as a journalist, working with some of Australia’s leading media organisations. In 2023, he was named Editor of the Year at the Mumbrella Publish Awards.