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Directed by: Dexter Fletcher
Starring: Hugh Jackman, Taron Egerton, Jo Hartley, Christopher Walken & Keith Allen
Everyone love a loser, right? We all like to see the underdog do well (I guess that’s why 90% of the UK wants to see Leicester City win the Premier League). And that is why Eddie ‘The Eagle’ Edwards is such a beloved figure. He’s a prime example of an underdog or heroic failure. It strange because the worse he performed, the more popular he became. In spite of his lack of ability, Eddie Edwards is highly, and rightfully, praised for representing the true Olympic spirit as an amateur athlete who wanted to compete, regardless of his chances of winning.
The film tells the story of Eddie’s (Egerton) childhood ambitions to compete in the Olympic Games; his ambitions soon turn to the winter Olympics after a visit to a local ski slope. Determined to prove a point after he was cut from the Olympic ski team, Eddie travels to Germany to train himself as a ski jumper. Under the tutorage of Bronson Perry (Jackman), a former disgraced US ski jumper who now works as a snowplow driver. Perry is impressed by Edward’s spirit and determination that he agrees to train him. It’s because of that determination that Eddie qualifies for the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, Alberta.
Wow, what a great movie. I honestly wasn’t expecting much at all, but I was completely sucked in from the word go.
The film really does illustrate Eddie’s never say die attitude toward ski jumping. The odds are always against Eddie as soon as the opening credits roll. His father disapproves of his Olympic dreams, the Olympic community are always moving the goal posts, and even Bronson Perry has little faith in him, despite agreeing to train him. Not only that, Eddie was farsighted, meaning that he wore these thick glasses under his goggles, which would mist up at altitude. So you can see why Eddie was such a beloved underdog.
Speaking about Bronson Perry, it’s worth noting that this film uses its creative licence a lot. In other words, Bronson Perry is a character created for the film. In fact, Eddie never travelled to Germany to train, he trained in New York. Then again, what film based on a true story is entirely factual.
This movie has a lot of heart and humour. A lot of comedy is thrown into the mix and is done well, too. The one thing I noticed from watching is just how upbeat the tone is, even when Eddie faces one setback after another.
Would I recommend it? Absolutely! It’s a fun story and Eddie the Eagle is so deserving for a film that pays tribute to his hard work and dedication to his Olympic dream.
Dreams can come true. It happened to Eddie, and it can happen to you
Rating: **** (Champion)