Inspired by true events, Eddie the Eagle is a feel-good story about Michael "Eddie" Edwards (Taron Egerton), an unlikely but courageous British ski-jumper who never stopped believing in himself - even as an entire nation was counting him out. With the help of a rebellious and charismatic coach (played by Hugh Jackman), Eddie takes on the establishment and wins the hearts of sports fans around the world by making an improbable and historic showing at the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics. From producers of Kingsman: The Secret Service, Eddie the Eagle stars Taron Egerton as Eddie, the loveable underdog with a never say die attitude.Written by
20th Century Fox
First of all, I have to say that I'm generally not a fan of biopics, they just aren't the type of movie I seek out. I got tickets to the sneak preview and my wife really wanted to go. Anyway, that preamble out of the way, I really did enjoy the movie.
Eddie the Eagle is a story about an underdog in every sense of the word. One theme that is repeated throughout the movie, is the quote from Pierre de Coubertin (father of the modern Olympics), "The important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win, but to take part; the important thing in Life is not triumph, but the struggle; the essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well." The story follows Eddie from the time he's a little kid with dreams of going to the Olympics. It follows him through his many assorted set-backs, and all the people around him who saw only failure in his future. It also shows the moments when he got helping hands when he most needed it. This movie is about his struggle.
The casting in the movie was quite good. I remember Eddie the Eagle from TV when I was young, and Taron Egerton does an excellent job in the role of Eddie. Hugh Jackman puts in a good performance as the coach Bronson Peary, and manages not to overpower Eddie's character. But while Taron Egerton really assumes the part of Eddie, a lot of Hugh Jackman leaks into his role as coach Peary.
The roles of Eddie's parents are also well played, and the actress playing his mother, Jo Hartley, gives a particularly poignant portrayal. The father, played by Keith Allen (currently uncredited on IMDb) is a bit of a caricature, but well acted. Actually, a lot of the supporting cast of characters are caricatures, especially the other ski-jumpers/coaches and the British Olympians/Olympic Committee. But to an extent that serves to emphasize the struggle for Eddie. Also, for those intent on seeing this film for Christopher Walked, he has a very small role.
While, I have emphasized the struggle aspect of the story, there is a lot of comedy thrown into the mix as well. The tone is upbeat throughout, even when Eddie has setbacks. While some of the failures are played for laughs (mostly early in the film), it's mostly Eddie's perseverance that makes this film endearing. It also feels like we're laughing with Eddie rather than at him, since it seems Eddie's in on the joke.
If you're on the fence about seeing this movie, I say give it a shot.
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