Film Review: Eddie the Eagle (2016)


2016 | PG | Biography, Comedy, Drama
Reviewed by Lukas

The story of Eddie Edwards, the notoriously tenacious British underdog ski jumper who charmed the world at the 1988 Winter Olympics.

Once in a while I come across a film that really pulls at my heart-strings and, I mean really, who doesn’t love a good underdog story?

Taron Egerton (Kingsmen: The Secret Service) plays the loveable goof, Eddie “The Eagle” Edwards – a life-long, yet bursting with enthusiasm, athletic under-achiever. Eddie’s dream has always been to one day patriotically represent Great Britain in the Olympics, albeit with no athletic skills to do so. While trying to find an event befitting of him, he realises that there could well be a shot for him to compete in the Winter Olympics, due to somewhat of a loophole. It’s decided – he’s going for one of the most spectacular and dangerous winter events – the Ski Jump.

Without giving the entire story away, Eddie defies everyone that wants to bulldoze his dreams of competing. He practices tirelessly (OK, to the point of exhaustion), failing time after time, but ALWAYS getting back up on his feet. It’s through his determination that we come to truly love Eddie’s character with the little boost from some of those around him who prove that there are still kind people in the world, willing to lend a helping hand to those in need.

I guess that’s what I enjoyed most about this heart-warming film. The underdog who doesn’t get completely shat on by every single person in the world, without obviously taking away the massive life challenges he must face internally, story-wise. Sure, you’ve got unlikable characters who give Eddie a hard time and go out of their way to make things impossible for him, but the three people who always stand by him, it’s makes you feel warm and fuzzy.

Hugh Jackman plays a retired and disgruntled American ski jumper, who, of course, initially refuses to train Eddie, but because Eddie is such a goddamn determined sweetheart, how can he resist? OK, Hugh playing another American-accented character gets a bit boring, but still, it’s Hugh Jackman. Even cold pizza is still good, because it’s PIZZA!

Eddie The Eagle is a pretty straightforward movie in terms of technicality. The underdog story isn’t a new one obviously and the acting, cinematography and direction are fine. Nothing “blew my mind” about this movie, but I hadn’t seen a decent underdog story in quite some time, so I felt like it was good for my soul.

If your soul needs a bit of healing, why not give Eddie The Eagle a shot? You might be pleasantly surprised.