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Eddie the Eagle: A Fantastic Crowd-Pleaser That Does the True Story Justice

February 15, 2016

Eddie the Eagle movie poster

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The word “Olympian” and Michael Edwards don’t really go together. Michael Edwards grew up a as blue-collar kid with bad knees who defied every law of nature. He was told he should consider taking up reading over physical activities and was never allowed to prove himself when it came to sports. However, his determination lead him to becoming an elite downhill skier who could somewhat compete with his more pedigreed peers. When he realized he could no longer afford to be a downhill skier he took up ski jumping.

Nothing he did was pretty but the guy kept plugging along until his Olympic dream was realized. It is a true testament to never quitting and Eddie the Eagle deserved his time in the spotlight. He may have placed last in the 1988 Calgary Olympics but he left a first class legacy.

Director Dexter Fletcher calls the film a “fictionalized version of a true story” but the charm is all there. I enjoyed every second of the action and appreciated watching an uplifting story that featured all in performances. Eddie the Eagle is pretense free and simply wants to entertain. There is something refreshing about a small scale story about a dorky kid becoming an Olympian. If you can roll with the earnest story and quirky performances I guarantee you will leave the theater with a smile on your face.

Taron Egerton (Kingsman) and Hugh Jackman have great chemistry as student and coach. I bet Jackman was stoked to not be Wolverine in a film and he looks relaxed and happy to be there. His performance is alive and he blends humor with cynicism beautifully. I was a bit thrown off by Egerton’s take on Eddie but as the film continued I embraced the role and appreciated that Egerton threw himself headlong into the performance.

Eddie the eagle Egerton

They look a bit different.

What I found to be most impressive is the way Fletcher was able to capture the danger of the ski jump. It is a crazy sport that features insane people jumping long distances in the air. One misstep and your body is jelly and the film portrays the danger perfectly. Fletcher incorporates tracking shots and wide-angles to show how high and dangerous everything is. If you watch the trailer you will know what I mean.

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Between Cool Runnings and Eddie the Eagle the 1988 Calgary Olympics have inspired some solid films. I love the underdog vibe and fact that some people don’t know how to quit. These are stories worth telling and I’m glad they’ve made it to the big screen. 2015/2016 has been loaded with some inspirational true/fictional stories involving good people doing good things. I totally recommend you check out Bridge of Spies, The Finest Hours, The Martian, Brooklyn, The Intern and Eddie the Eagle.

Watch Eddie the Eagle on the biggest screen possible. Leave the ski jumping to Eddie. Appreciate Hugh Jackman not being Wolverine.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. February 15, 2016 10:24 am

    I was going to skip this completely because I thought it looked terrible – trailer, title, everything. But I might give it a go now. Maybe.

    • February 15, 2016 12:23 pm

      It is a nice little film that does everything nicely. The 70% on RT is pretty much exactly where it stands. I was able to put aside cynicism and roll with it.

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