Eddie the Eagle review
As a Southern-Californian, snow might as well come from a different world. We receive at the most, a few flurries in the winter, but even then, it needs to be on a full moon on a leap year if it’s not Tuesday. That said, we can still provide a wealth of athletes in sports that are played in the winter. Both local ice hockey teams, the Anaheim Ducks and the Los Angeles Kings, have won the Stanley Cup and are seen as some of the best hockey teams in America. Shaun White, famous snowboarder, hails from San Diego and Michelle Kwan, the figure skater, is from the L.A. area.
The lesson here is that a champion can come from anywhere. A good movie that provides this example is Cool Runnings from Disney. This portrays the country of Jamaica creating a bobsled team for the 1988 Winter Olympics. Though goofy and clearly not a realistic representation of what happened, the movie was upbeat about one following their dreams to become an Olympic athlete. What’s interesting that today’s movie was set during the same 1988 Olympics. Eddie the Eagle looks at an aspiring ski jumper as he tries to go fro the gold.
Ever since he was a young boy, Eddie Edwards has wanted to go to the Olympics, yet has little athletic skill. He tries his hand at several sports until he sees skiing as his best shot. As an adult, Eddie (played by Taron Egerton) seems to be doing well, he’s not selected to join the British downhill skiing team due to his odd technique and just simply not being one of the best. He then sees that the country has not had a ski jumper in a long time, and decides to take advantage of that empty spot to secure a spot.
He packs his bags for Germany at the official training facility where his attempts to mingle with the other ski jumpers are met with laughter. While trying out the hills, he comes across alcoholic snow groomer Bronson Peary (played by Hugh Jackman). Eddie finds out that he used to be a part of the American Olympic team under the coaching of Warren Sharp (played by Christopher Walken). He takes pity and agrees to give Eddie the proper coaching. Eddie manages to win a local match that qualifies him to join the Olympic team. While the odds of winning are low, he’s happy to be chasing his dream.
Eddie the Eagle sounds like your run of the mill sport biography and…basically is…but it’s also self aware of that and has fun with itself. I can’t think of another movie where ski jumping is portrayed and it looks really cool on a cinematic scale. The sport’s highflying action allows for some impressive shots to prove that it was not computer generated.
Like Cool Runnings, it’s also clearly not using the same story, given how silly a lot of the scenes flow. While it’s not laugh out loud hilarious, it makes up by being just as upbeat as the latter.
Taron Egerton is proving his worth as an actor, managing to be the perfect athlete and dweeb in one crazy experiment. You know his character is out of their element, but Taron makes him very likable. Hugh Jackman does well as his coach, more or less throwing in a lot of his charm and ability to play off the comedic writing to his advantage. Hugh gains cool points for his shot of ski jumping with a cigarette in his mouth.
Going into Eddie the Eagle, you really need to be in the right mood for it to hit you in the right spot.
I’ll give this four and a half ski jumpers out of five. Those that want a gripping story of an athlete should look someplace else. But for those that want something upbeat like Cool Runnings and Rudy, then Eddie the Eagle should please you well enough. Despite the premise, this is no downhill crash; it’s a flier that knows where to land.
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