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The new movie ‘Iron Claw’ about the legendary 1980 pro wrestling family the Von Erichs stars Zac Efron.

Only he looks a lot bigger.

‘The Iron Claw’

The A.V. Club reports:

In his new movie The Iron Claw, Zac Efron, the sinewy golden boy of High School Musical and Baywatch, looks like a boulder. His bulky physique, the result of a “shocking” bodily transformation that hopefully won’t trigger insomnia and depression, like last time, is imposing. But his beefy frame is as much a part of his performance as his dropkick, reflecting the immovable object that must absorb an ungodly amount of pain without showing it. How much punishment one can withstand is essential to becoming a pro wrestler. In Iron Claw, Efron absorbs it all.

Efron plays Kevin Von Erich, the only surviving member of Texas’ infamous “cursed” wrestling family, the Von Erichs. It’s a harrowing true story. Coached by their taskmaster father, Fritz (Holt McCallany), the brothers showed great promise in his local promotion, World Class Championship Wrestling, but national success eluded them. Only one of the brothers, Kerry (Jeremy Allen White), ever found success in the WWE (née WWF), and it was short-lived and came after a life-changing injury that he went to great pains, literally, to disguise. The Von Erichs were always on the cusp of greatness before succumbing to the ills that plague pro wrestlers: drug abuse, injury, and death. All except Kevin, who stands in his brothers’ corner holding out a hand for a tag and keeping a smile on his face for the fans.

The Movie Is Getting Rave Reviews Across the Board

A.V. Club added, “[The real Kevin Von Erich] said he appreciated that kind of inability to express his emotion or what he’s going through to his father—really to anybody—about what was going on in the ring,” Efron said at a recent screening of the film, “about how demanding it was, about how it was taking its toll.” That stoicism is essential to Efron’s work here, weaponizing his boundless charisma and marquee looks to become the film’s empathetic backbone.

Zac Efron is obviously a well known actor, but with around a 90% critic rating already on Rotten Tomatoes this latest movie could be a career changer, taking him to new heights.