Starring: Taron Egerton, Hugh Jackman, Christopher Walken, Jim Broadbent, Anastasia Harrold (Rated PG – 106 min).
Not to be confused with Eric the Eel, hands up who remembers Eddie the Eagle, the adorable British ski jumping ultimate underdog who won fans hearts globally during the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics?
Michael Eddie Edwards always wanted to be an athlete growing up in suburban England with dreams of going to the Olympic Games for any kind of sport, it didn’t matter. Being told over and over by practically everyone that he is kidding himself. Human spirit and determination of a lifelong goal comes forth much to the detriment of a snooty British Olympic committee and Eddie the Eagle is born.
Sporting movies are often indifferent often with limited appeal to a mass audience but every now and then, a cult figure may be depicted in an extraordinary story such as Eddie the Eagle that a wide audience may embellish on the silver screen. It’s no secret that although this is derived on an absolutely inspiring true story, source material is adjusted accordingly to entertain. The screenplay has taken extreme liberties as is as fractured as Eddie’s bones. Simply hit google if you want to see reality as opposed to cliche ridden three act grandiose storytelling.
Eddie the Eagle may have finished last in the 70 metre and 90 metre events at Calgary but perseverance and ability to win over people was his achievement. He gained little respect at first from his country, it didn’t take long for the media to spread the word catch phrasing his nickname Eddie The Eagle in vast contrast to the vast inexplicable dangerously close to death crashes he had on the mountain slopes.
Creating the movie took years of production woes. While the screenplay started life on the Hollywood script blacklist, an annual unproduced written work list that most film companies bid extensively to gain rights. Accomplished Brit thespian turned director Dexter Fletcher with the help of successful ‘Kick Ass’ auteur Matthew Vaughn took the opportunity and have made the ROCKY of ski jumping films.
The film would not have worked without Taron Egerton (KIngsman) bringing devoted quality as Eddie, such an offbeat cool but equally as awkward guy he is fantastic. Donning the coke bottle thick glasses with the predominate underbite, courage is at a premium. One totally made up character is that of mentor coach washed up former jumper Bronson Peary, Australia’s own Hugh Jackman. He may be cliche ridden with drunken antics to refusal to Eddie’s coaching advances, Peary does become integral to the enjoyment. In terms of making choices, Jackman rocks this role and the chemistry with young Egerton is there. During press events, the pair are like life-long drinking buddies bouncing off each other with intricate ease.
Early scenes alongside Eddie’s family dynamic sets the never give up tone of what’s to come when he finally get’s accepted into the Olympic team. Loved the retro soundtrack too, from Van Halen to Frankie Goes to Hollywood, generation X are well catered for.
Being advertised as a true story will appease cinema goers and is exactly what the film distributors want, although in reality it may be based on the incredible tale of the working class plasterer who became a global hero. A majority of the actual events have been fabricated in the name of cinematic pleasure.
After allowing the changes to happen, Eddie himself has been quoted as endorsing the film for what it is while admitting to crying at his own story upon first viewing.
Reminding me of the uplifting traits of the 2000 hit Billy Elliot and Disney’s 1993 Cool Runnings (equally as unique true sports story that came out of same Olympic Games) this is a must see inspiring feel good film that will leave you walking out of the cinema as high as the jumps Eddie attempts.
Shane A. BassettSydney Unleashed is one of Australia’s premier entertainment publications exploring the latest in lifestyle trends. From Sydney’s finest restaurants, cafes and bars to the hottest in gadgets, products, and home entertainment, Sydney Unleashed is your one-stop lifestyle platform.