It isn't often I get super into a sports film. If any of my previous reviews are anything to go by, it's probably clear I'm not a huge sporting enthusiast. But there is something about a goofy, loveable outcast underdog character that gets me hooked every time. Read into that what you will about what it says about me, but Eddie the Eagle is this type of character in spades.
Michael Edwards (Taron Egerton) is an outsider who has dreams of being an Olympic athlete. Supported by his mother and discouraged by his father, he tries his hand at as many sports as he can, often failing spectacularly. That is, until he decides to switch gears and focus not on the summer Olympics but instead the winter Olympics. Starting out speed skiing, it's made clear to him by the establishment he isn't wanted for the Olympic team. His sprit not fully doused, he decides to swap to ski jumping, a dangerous yet underrepresented event for Great Britain. In Germany he begins his training, under the tutelage of the reluctant Bronson Peary (Hugh Jackman), and eventually makes it to the 1988 Calgary olympics.
No spoilers, I promise.
That said, it happened nearly 30 years ago... you could probably have figured it out.
This is such a charming biopic, it's hard not to fall under the spell of Eddie. Taron Edgerton is showing a range I would not have expect either. It is all too easy for a handsome actor to play a self-absorbed and confident person (like his role in 'Kingsman') but it shows a certain depth and commitment when they turn around and play an unflattering but all together loveable goof, and do the role so much justice that you are left utterly convinced of their ability as an actor. Okay. Maybe I enjoyed this movie a little too much.
This is such a charming biopic, it's hard not to fall under the spell of Eddie.
The soundtrack by Gary Barlow is surprisingly good! It really captures the feeling and sound that was sport in the 80s. In combination with the charming script, I was transported back in time. Also not knowing the original story meant that my heart was often in my mouth and my emotions rarely in check hoping and wishing for Eddie to succeed.
I'm not really sure that Hugh Jackman was a perfect casting decision; he was probably put there to make the film more marketable. He did the job he was required to do, but it definitely wasn't a career-defining role (or a stretch, for that matter.)
This is truly a film the whole family will enjoy. It's equal parts inspiring, charming, loving, funny and thrilling, and is probably one of the most enjoyable biopics I've seen in a long time. 'Eddie the Eagle' will have you jumping from your seats!