I had the absolute joy and pleasure of going to watch Eddie the Eagle this weekend. For the entire 106 minutes running time I had a smile on my face, in fact, about 25 minutes into the film I turned to my girlfriend and said “this is really good”. Not my finest description of a film, but for one that is simply sweet, heart-warming and has the feel-good factor it summed it up perfectly.
If you are unsure of Eddie “The Eagle” Edwards, he entered the 1988 Winter Olympics as Britain’s first ski jumper and although he never had a chance of troubling the leader board he captured the hearts of everyone and became a national hero.
I am an absolute sucker for inspirational sport stories, nothing cheers me up more than seeing a person/team who hasn’t quite got the best skills/players giving it their all and maybe not necessarily winning, but earning the respect of everyone and proving that the impossible can be achieved. Eddie the Eagle is the perfect example of this.
Taron Egerton plays everyone’s favourite underdog, Eddie Edwards, and has you cheering him on throughout the entire film. He is unrecognisable from his Kingsman role but he shows everyone that he has a great talent and is sure to be a big hit for years. The character has to put up with a lot of crap, yet he faces it head on without question and never gives up, which is what makes Eddie so lovable.
Now although he wasn’t a part of Eddie’s factual story, Bronson Peary was added purely for the film and was played by everyone’s favourite Aussie, Hugh Jackman. Bronson is pretty much what Wolverine would be like if you swapped his claws for a pair of skis. Grumpy, an alcoholic and just wants to be left alone. After watching Eddie jump and fearing that he will kill himself, the washed up ex-ski jumper, Bronson, reluctantly takes Eddie under his wing and not only becomes his coach, but a great friend. It’s a character that we see often from Jackman but he plays it so well and it fits in with this story.
Eddie’s parents, Janette (Jo Hartley) and Terry (Keith Allen) were brilliant. Terry constantly on at Eddie to give up on his dream of becoming an Olympian and to be a painter and decorator instead. His mum Janette supports him all the way but in the end and in true feel-good fashion, his dad gets on board and yes, it was one of several moments in the film that made me cry.
There were some nice cameos as well. Mark Benton and Tim McInnerny were part of the British Olympics Committee who tried to stop Eddie but without success.
Jim Broadbent was the commentator for the Winter Olympics and his vocal input helped add a bit of drama to the heroics of Eddie. Even Christopher Walken’s brief appearance as Warren Sharp, who coached Bronson in his heyday was a nice little touch at the end and yes! It made me cry.
Dexter Fletcher was in the director’s chair for this and it’s not really a story you can get wrong but I think he done a tremendous job of putting so much heart in to it and to add the right amount of humour to stop it from turning in to a slapstick movie but still have the entire cinema laughing from beginning to end.
There were plenty of 80’s music that will surely have everyone tapping/bopping/humming along and the score reminded me of Tom Hank’s “Big”. Do you agree?
So as you can guess, I rather enjoyed this film. Sure it won’t win any awards, but much like Eddie “The Eagle” Edwards, this wasn’t about winning awards. It was about showing the world that life doesn’t always have to be so serious and that if you put enough determination, passion and above all, heart, you can do anything. Right, where did I put those skis?
Thanks for reading.