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Eddie the Eagle (2016)

Review by CJ

Eddie the Eagle

Director:
Dexter Fletcher

Starring:
Taron Egerton, Hugh Jackman

Other notable appearances:
Jo Hartley, Keith Allen, Tim McInnerny, Christopher Walken

Running time:
106 minutes

Watch this if you liked:
Cool Runnings, Real Steel, Rudy

 

Michael “Eddie” Edwards (Egerton) has wanted to be an Olympian for most of his life. When he is rejected for the downhill skiing team, he decides to learn how to ski jump. With the help of disgraced ski jumper Bronson Peary (Jackman), he fights the odds to compete in the Olympics.

Eddie the Eagle is a good example of how ‘inspired by a true story’ films should be taken with a grain of salt. Upon researching the film after viewing, I found that the film is very loosely based on the true story. Estimates given to the real Edwards were that the film was 85-90% fiction with 10-15% fact. The character of Bronson Peary for example, a pivotal character who has a significant amount of back story and screen time? Completely fictional. While this doesn’t belittle the efforts of the real Edwards, detract from the quality of the film or reduce the enjoyment of it, I feel it is worth noting.

Egerton delivers a brilliant performance as Edwards. The man who rose like a phoenix from the ashes of ridicule into an inspirational story of hard work and dedication. Egerton’s portrayal is mesmerising from the way he looks remarkably like Edwards to the seemingly effortless way he controls his facial expressions throughout the film.

Jackman is stellar in his role as Peary. The gruff loner with a heart of gold seems to be a recurring (though not limiting) theme throughout Jackman’s career and he excels at it.

Overall the story in Eddie the Eagle is inspiring in principle but a lot of the film uses clichéd sports films inspiration to achieve this. You feel inspired because the film hits all of the right buttons but nothing new is pressed. Especially noticeable are a lot of parallels to Cool Runnings. This is in part because Eddie the Eagle and the Jamaican bobsled team both competed at the same Winter Olympics and had similar struggles along the way. There is even a tiny mention of the Jamaicans from a commentator in Eddie the Eagle.

I would recommend everyone who likes feel-good inspirational films see Eddie the Eagle at least once. Overall though, I don’t feel Eddie the Eagle has a lot of rewatchability so if you’re after value for a DVD or Blu-ray purchase, I would recommend Cool Runnings over Eddie the Eagle.

Rating:
3 Stars

“The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not the winning but the taking part; the important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle.”

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