The Sheik (2014) Poster

(2014)

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9/10
The Sheik Rocks!
wllm99520 May 2014
I had heard of this documentary from a friend; and went into it hoping for an interesting story - and got that and more.

The story of the Iron Sheik (the iconic wrestling name Khosrow Vaziri took as his stage name) takes us all the way from his birth in Iran in the early 1940's right up to the present day.

And what a story it is! In his lifetime Mr. Vaziri was a various times a multiple times amateur wrestling champion of Iran; a personal bodyguard for the then Shah of Iran; a coach for a U.S.Olympic Gold winning wrestling team; a world reviled villain in the WWE who also at one time was the World Champion of the WWE; a devastated and hopelessly drug addicted man who lost his loving wife and two beautiful daughters; and finally a risen up again loving husband and father (and grandfather) who became an U-Tube and Twitter sensation.

And those are just the highlights of this fascinating man's long and winding journey. This documentary does a fine job of presenting Mr. Vaziri's story through not only his own inimitable words; but through the words of many, many of his contemporaries from both the amateur and professional wrestling worlds which were such a huge part of his life; along with many well chosen news clips and pictures showing his strange odyssey.

I can highly recommend that you see 'The Sheik'
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10/10
Good human story.
ellisalex6 May 2015
Warning: Spoilers
I felt genuine sympathy for The Sheik in this movie. His shocking addiction to crack at such an old age was wrenching. It was good to see him getting better. He really is a real life character in the true sense. The brothers who saved him and made the film did this man a great service. You can't help but love The Sheik. Sad, happy, sorrow, smiles, all you will feel. Great documentary. He had tragedy within his family, he was a hero in Iran, He raised daughters, had a wife, lived a life and made a comeback. I'm having trouble making this the minimum 10 lines. What started out a a fun review has turned into a school assignment. Oh I made it. Good doc, it's on Netflix.
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3/10
A Limp Pass at a Spirited Story, The Sheik's Lack of Focus is Damning
drqshadow-reviews8 December 2015
A quick-hits personal history of the mighty Iron Sheik, retired WWF champion turned profane social media phenomenon. Beneath his tough, big-front attitude, the Sheik has a deeply involved, complex story to tell, though an irritating lack of focus stops us from dwelling long enough to appreciate it. The film, well-produced and stuffed with big-name testimonials, seems more interested in his recent, superficial, second limelight than in his roots as an Iranian Olympian or even as foil to the likes of Hulk Hogan and Bob Backlund. Which is a shame, because I found the story of his abrupt exodus from the middle east and roundabout path to pro wrestling superstardom far, far more intriguing than his Twitter routine or appearances on Howard Stern. Maybe a lack of available footage from the Sheik's heyday is to blame, or maybe the producers found themselves too involved (they double as his social media advisors). Whatever the reasons, they leave the story hamstrung early and it sags badly for the last half-hour. Occasionally amusing and only rarely enlightening, it isn't half as enjoyable as just reading the guy's Wikipedia entry, checking out his last dozen tweets and calling it a day.
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7/10
One Example of Wrestling Gone Bad
gavin694221 April 2015
"The Sheik" is a pop culture documentary that chronicles Khosrow Vaziri's electrifying career. From his upbringing in Iran, to his journey in America, to his unprecedented experiences as America's most hated villain.

While you could make a story about any wrestler of the 1970s and 1980s, including those mentioned in this film (like Hacksaw Jim Duggan and Jake the Snake Roberts), the Iron Sheik makes for a good story because then you can bring in foreign relations. He was Iranian, spent his early years there, and later came to America and helped train the Olympic team. How odd it must be to play "the Iron Sheik", a villain, when you are proud of your Iranian roots and your American status.

Through his story, we see the rise of WWF to a form of legitimacy, and what could be called the "mistake" of Hulkamania... or was it not a mistake? Indeed, through Hulk Hogan, wrestling achieved a level of pop culture influence that it never saw again.
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6/10
Mildly interesting if you aren't a wrestling fan.
MartinHafer12 May 2015
Khosrow Vaziri is better known as 'The Iron Sheik'--a character from professional wrestling who was a huge star in the 1970s and 80s. During this time of tension between the US and Iran, the Iranian-born Vaziri was the right person at the right time--a very talented Olympic wrestler who was more than happy to play a caricature of an Ayatollah- loving crazy man who hated America. It was all total nonsense, but the wrestling public loved it--and loved to hate him. This film is about his--before, during and after this career. If you are a big fan of pro wrestling, then you'll most likely love the film. If, like me, you never really understood or connected with this sort of entertainment, then it still is worth seeing but it's far from a must-see. The film is reasonably well made and often interesting--though Vaziri later became a bit of a real life butt-head--and this also makes the film a bit less satisfying to watch. Not bad but nothing more.
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8/10
Another Fascinating Story Of A Ring Legend
zkonedog28 February 2017
Warning: Spoilers
There is an entire generation of children (those aged 5-12 or so during the mid-80s to early 90s) who were mesmerized by WWF professional wrestling. I was on the younger end of that spectrum, so I don't specifically remember watching the Iron Sheik, but I do know a bit of the sport's history and I am well-aware of his significance to the business (especially his title- changing bout with Hulk Hogan). Plus, it is always utterly fascinating to me to hear more stories of how these men we so looked up to as children are getting along (or, more often than not, NOT getting along) later in life. This documentary did not disappoint.

This doc is broken up into four general segments...

-"Early Years"...How a superb, Olympic-quality wrestler named Hossein Khosrow Ali Vaziri was the sporting darling of Iran 1960s, but then left the country due to its political unrest and the fact that fame seemed to equal assassination. -"Pro Wrestling Career"...Hossein begins with Verne Gagne's AWA and tries to be a babyface (good guy), but doesn't "pop" enough. So, it is suggested that he become a "heel" (villain), playing the "Iranian baddie" that all the fans hated. He quickly took his act to the WWF, settled on the Iron Sheik moniker, and became the first real popular villain in that organization. -"The Fall"...After getting caught possessing drugs in the late 1980s, Sheik is blackballed by Vince McMahon and shrinks down to the independent circuits (bars & high school gyms) in order to make a living. During this phase of his life, he hits the bottle hard and then becomes involved heavily in the drug scene. -"The Return"...Sheik is helped by a couple of young men who are fans of his, decide to get the man back on his feet, and make him a notable presence in the social media community.

There are many things to like in this documentary. I had no idea that The Sheik was so popular and instantly recognizable. I didn't know his history as a true wrestler, or his quick fall from grace. He is even shown to have a caring wife, a family that generally supports him (though not his drug habits), and a presence on social member that is quite impressive (if perhaps a bit sad, as he is kind of just mocking himself).

Mainly, though, I think "Sheik" will primarily appeal to classic WWF fans (like myself) who are always fascinated by how these guys "turned out", so to speak. These men were legends in their own little world of pro wrestling...but then what happens when that world is no longer open to them? More often than not, the ending is not good (many unexpected deaths or crippled lives). The Sheik is really no different...except that through the love and support of his family and friends, he was able to draw himself up from his darkest days and become a charismatic figure once again.

I had no idea what to expect coming into this viewing experience, and I was thrilled to be so emotionally and historically invested in the journey. If you are of "that certain age" where the WWF was a large part of your childhood. I think a similar process will happen with you.
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