Eddie the Eagle
This weekend Eddie the Eagle ‘fly’s’ onto the big screen as a heartwarming and inspiring underdog story about real life Michael Edwards, who, in 1988, became the first ski jumper to represent Great Britain in the winter Olympics.
Taron Egerton (Kingsman: The Secret Service, Legend, Testament of Youth) plays Michael Edwards (Eddie for short), who from a very young age has always wanted to compete in the national Olympics. Bum leg or no he train’s himself religiously to be good at…well any sport will do! He only wants to compete. However one day, he finds his true calling: Skiing! And after fate deals him a crummy hand; Ski Jumping! While we’re dreaming big let’s set the goals a little higher, Eddie plans to become the first British jumper in the winter Olympics since the early 1920’s. Much to the irritation of his father and secret encouragement of his mother, he wastes no time heading off to Germany to train in one of the most dangerous Olympic sports, a sport by the way, of which he’s never before done. That’s where the haters come in Rune Temte (Love me Tomorrow, Ulykken, Switch) plays Bjorn a famous ski coach who won’t give Eddie the time of day, and of course his fellow students follow in his example, mocking the poor guy and placing bets on just how long it’ll take him to either quit or kill himself from the fall.
Which brings us to Hugh Jackman (Pan, The Wolverine, Happy Feet) as Bronson Peary the local alcoholic of bitterness and broken dreams the guy who tells our star out right ‘Give up’. You know that guy? He’s also the guy who (surprise) was once a famous ski jumper himself, who represented America in a few past Olympic competitions. However not able to get it together, he soon disappeared from the sport altogether. When Eddie finds this out he begs Bronson to be his coach to which he replies with a quick and easy ‘No.’ Guess what happens? He ends up being Eddies Coach. A duo of misfits, disgraces, and a team who are just not taken seriously by anyone of their peers, they set out to do the one thing no one thought possible: Proving everyone wrong. I’m going to tell you straight up. As far as the underdog sports movies go this one is supremely cliché. Eddie’s the loner with nothing but a dream and a will to act on it. His father, Terry played by Keith Allen (Hector, Vinyl, The Others) who tries to thwart his son’s ambitions and get a ‘real job’ at any chance possible and his mother Janette played by Jo Hartley (Ill Manors, When the Lights Went Out, Up There) who encourages her son’s dreams and helps him however she can. The sweet mother and son back and forth “Where do you think you’re going young man?” “To the Olympics.” Was probably in the script like five times. It was cute and sentimental…but yeah…new material would have been appreciated. Jackman’s character definitely stood out with that same one outfit he wore throughout the movie. A flask in his hand was what he referred to as ‘his jacket’ so he’s rarely with a jacket in the snowy mountains of Germany…where, booze or no booze, I’m sure you’d need a jacket! Those were my irks about the movie. And yes there’s a few, however ask me if I’d see this movie again and I would give a solid ‘Yes.’ because even though cliché and slightly irritable you still can’t help but love the characters. Even with knowing how this is going to turn out you feel yourself cheering from the inside the whole way through. You find yourself feeling just as cheated when the British Olympic committee denied him his chance to represent them in the upcoming Olympics. And poor Eddie is just one of those people…you really like. Someone you just want to win.
Rated PG-13 for suggestive material, partial nudity, and smoking.
Rotten tomatoes has Eddie the Eagle at a 73% fresh. Those are numbers I can get behind.
I really enjoyed this movie. Inspiring and emotional, this movie will bring out the best in anyone who’s ever had that hard to reach dream. I highly recommend it. The best time to go, I would suggest would be after a particularly rough day. Because at the end of the movie if nothing else, you’ll leave there with a smile.