Starring: Taron Egerton, Hugh Jackman, Christopher Walken
Director: Dexter Fletcher
Running Time: 105 mins
Eddie The Eagle is a British film about the true story of Eddie Edwards, a young man who dreamed of being an Olympian, and set about training to participate in the Olympic ski jump at Calgary ’88.
This film is ridiculously cheesy and formulaic, sticking extremely close to the uplifting sports drama genre tropes. But you know what? Eddie The Eagle is such a successfully happy, upbeat and funny film that it doesn’t matter one bit. Not even the strongest cynic could stand up against this relentlessly delightful film that, despite being nothing new, will have you smiling from ear to ear right the way through.
The best thing about Eddie The Eagle is that it’s a film that knows exactly what it is. It’s using a real-life story that’s all about having fun and aiming high, and, although it fits perfectly into the sports movie formula that we all know like the back of our hand, it takes every single trope of the genre and makes it work perfectly.
Normally, a film with such a relentlessly upbeat atmosphere would get annoying after a while, but not here. This is such a well-written and well-directed film that strikes the perfect balance between humour, drama, tension and joy, and it never puts a foot wrong. You can be laughing your socks off one minute, and the next, wincing at a terrifying crash on the ski jump, but it all works so well together, and has the added bonus of increasing your love and admiration for Eddie, which makes his achievements so much sweeter and more satisfying to watch.
One other thing about this film that mustn’t go unnoticed is the comedy, which is brilliant. There are heaps of big laughs all over in Eddie The Eagle, and it’s just another feature of the film that makes it an even more enjoyable and delightful watch.
Finally, we need to mention the performances here, almost all of which are stunning. In the lead role, Taron Egerton is perfect, pulling off the brilliant comedy in the screenplay, as well as matching the real life Eddie The Eagle’s mannerisms fantastically. You’ve also got Keith Allen and Jo Hartley as Eddie’s parents, both of whom are hilarious and heartfelt, but the stand-out of everyone is Hugh Jackman.
We know Jackman’s a charismatic guy, but it seems that in this film he steps it up to an even higher level. He may be playing an alcoholic disgraced former ski jumper, but what he does with his character is make him so likeable that you really believe his turnaround to helping Eddie achieve his dreams, and, with a collection of great one-liners too, he’s such a joy to watch on screen.
I’m not the world’s biggest optimist, and I’m not usually one to love these sort of uplifting, ‘against all odds’ movies. However, there was no way that I couldn’t feel anything but pure joy and happiness throughout the brilliant Eddie The Eagle, and that’s why it gets an 8.4 from me.