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A24 Has Done It Again: The Iron Claw Review

Photo Courtesy to Printerval, used under Creative Commons Attributions.
Photo Courtesy to Printerval, used under Creative Commons Attributions.

The Iron Claw: A24 Has Done It Again (By Osborne Lopez)

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to go to the movies for the first time in a while. My film of choice? The Iron Claw, directed by Sean Durkin and produced by A24. I hadn’t gone to see a movie in a while, and to be honest, I didn’t want to waste money on a mediocre film. Now, as you can probably imagine, when I saw that A24 had a film out, I knew it was the one to see. A24 has been the production powerhouse behind films such as Past Lives, Everything Everywhere All At Once, and Priscilla; all films that have received high praise because of, not only their performances, but their amazing visuals. Does The Iron Claw maintain A24’s winning streak? The simple answer: Yes. 

As the film opens, we are immediately thrown into intensity. A man towers over another and delivers massive blows, throwing down his opponent and making a spectacle of violence. This is the world of wrestling we are shown. A world of black and white (the shot is literally in black and white), and a world of violent gratification. We, the audience, squirm. However, we are eager to see how this scene develops. Who is this man? What drives him to carry such blows to the man on the floor? Is this just for the crowd, or is there more? And just as the fight climbs…CUT! We are brought into technicolor and the fight is over. However, this man’s story isn’t quite finished. His family, specifically his sons, areis the subject of the film. They are the Von Erichs. 

Now, I don’t want to give you too much more to munch on, but doesn’t this film sound exciting?! I mean, what a way to open. The intensity of the scene immediately grabbed my attention and the film continued to do so throughout its entirety. Of course, the film isn’t just pure violence either. At its core, The Iron Claw is a story about family, but more specifically, it is about the brotherly bond that is formed in the midst of trauma. Yes, I said trauma. This film does not fail to give its fair share of cry-worthy moments that have the audience looking left and right to make sure they are not alone in their tears. There were many, many tears. 

With tears, there is also laughter. And don’t worry, you will laugh!. The bond between the Von Erich brothers helped to create moments that had, not only me, but the whole theater fall into a fit of laughter. I was able to tell how much the cast poured into their roles and into the interactions we see between the brothers on screen. The laughter helps cut through the tears, leaving you with a feeling of catharsis as you exit the theater. However, don’t be fooled. The good moments just make the bad ones worse. 

Did I mention this film is based on a true story? Well, now you know. After watching The Iron Claw, I decided to do some digging into the story behind the film, and it is an interesting one. Throughout the film, the leader of the Von Erich family, the father, is portrayed as a hardened man who pushed his sons to their limits, and sometimes, pushed even further. The real life counterpart of one of the Von Erich’s had his own opinion on how his old man was portrayed, as he simply states that his father “was an honorable, good man” (via Wrestling Inc). Knowing this, I think it best to take the film as it is, which is a captivating interpretation of true events. Kevin Von Erich has stated that the true story was modified for the amusement of the audience. He still gives his stamp of approval, however!

So, would you see this movie? Have you heard of A24? Do you have a more negative take on the movie than I do? If so, I would love to hear it! This movie was definitely a top ten for me! 

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About the Contributor
Osborne Lopez
Osborne Lopez, Creative Writing Section Editor
Osborne Lopez is a sophomore and a fiction writer on the Newspaper team! He loves writing, but if he’s not doing that, he is either at church or in the kitchen. He loves Jesus and loves food. That’s all you really need to know about him. He also loves music. Can’t forget about that! But if you ever want to say hello, don’t be afraid to do so!

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