The Sheik DVD Review
“The Sheik” is uneven.
“The Sheik” is a documentary film about the life and times of the Iranian man Khosrow Vaziri who is better known to the world as the WWF star The Iron Sheik. The film chronicles his time in Iran, his love of wrestling, his bodyguard duties for the Shah of Iran before he moved to the U.S., his coaching duties, and his own wrestling career. Other topics covered include racism, family, fans and haters, his struggles with drugs and alcohol, life after WWF, personal tragedies, health issues, and his eventual rebirth via social media. The film includes interviews with authors, wrestling experts, friends, family, and wrestlers such as The Rock, Jake The Snake, Mankind, Bret Hart, and Hulk Hogan.
Even if you aren’t a wrestling fan, you probably know the name The Iron Sheik or have even seen some of his tweets or media appearances. To say he has become a pop culture legend over the years is an understatement. It’s no surprise then that a documentary film was made about his life. Unfortunately, the end result is rather mixed.
“The Sheik” is a tale of 2 movies. The first half is an engaging overview of his youth and wrestling career. Yes, it glosses over his life in Iran and his journey to the WWF, but it’s still an interesting success story. The second half, however, is a different story. While it details his demons and eventual turn around, the film begins to repeat itself and contain far too much footage of Sheik’s friends and business partners the Magen Brothers (who also happen to produce this documentary). Now, I don’t have an issue with their appearance as they are heavily involved in his life, but I do find it distracting that “The Sheik” almost becomes about them. Basically, they become too much apart of the narrative when they shouldn’t be.
Presentation: 1.78:1. How does it look? As with most documentaries, the footage varies in quality since the film is a mixture of photo stills, stock footage, newly shot interviews, and archival wrestling footage. With that said, the film looks solid overall.
Audio Track: Dolby Digital 5.1. How does it sound? The DD track does the job. No more, no less.
The lone extras are Dark Sky Films trailers and a trailer for “The Sheik.”
Overall Thoughts: Fans of The Iron Sheik will want to give this documentary a look. It’s not a perfect film by any means nor is it on the level of something like “Beyond The Mat,” but it is an interesting portrait of a wrestling superstar.
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