Classic Review: Eddie the Eagle (2016)

Since I’ve started this site, I’ve written a lot of reviews. In case you missed some of my earlier ones, I would like to share an older review of “Eddie the Eagle” which originally appeared here.

Cut from the Olympic ski team, British athlete Michael “Eddie” Edwards (Taron Egerton) travels to Germany to test his skills at ski jumping. Fate leads him to Bronson Peary (Hugh Jackman), a former ski jumper who now works as a snowplow driver. Impressed by Edwards’ spirit and determination, Peary agrees to train the young underdog. Despite an entire nation counting him out, Eddie’s never-say-die attitude takes him all the way to a historic and improbable showing at the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, Alberta.

There have been many sport biopics made about various people but I’m sure you haven’t seen one quite like this one. I’m sure everyone has heard of the adage “It’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how you play the game”. This definitely held true here. Because this movie is based on a real person, Michael “Eddie” Edwards (Egerton) , I’m not really giving anything away here by saying that he wasn’t really a winner or a champion of anything. He and his story was celebrated because his never-give-up attitude eventually gave him the opportunity to achieve his dream and compete as a ski jumper at the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary despite interference from his own nation’s olympic committee. Helping him with his dream was Bronson Peary (Jackman), a former ski jumper now working as a snowplow driver. Like I said before, what makes this original and sets it apart from other biopics is that this film isn’t about a champion. I didn’t know that at the time but I didn’t mind it. I will say that the film has a lot of cliches along the way which I think you can all probably figure out. Some worked and some did not work as well. I found that the performances of Egerton and Jackman elevated the material. I thought they great chemistry and they were very compelling to watch. I thought Egerton was fantastic here playing a sympathetic, relatable character who was quite the departure from his role in Kingsman. What sold me was that he was very likeable here and you couldn’t help but to root for him. Jackman’s Peary character is a cliche but I thought his performance elevated him above that. He was very good as the drunk, washed up ski jumper coach bringing some humor to the role while not overpowering Egerton’s Edwards. Yes, the story is a little cliche but you easily forget that because of the performances, specifically Egerton and Jackman. The characters are compelling to watch, more specifically Egerton who you can’t help but to focus on him. Also the film did a good job at making you feel like you were in the 80s from the world and the soundtrack which I thoroughly enjoyed. I thought that most of the ski jumping sequences were well done and immersive, making us feel like we were doing it with him. I just found the film to be very exciting. I’ve already mentioned the performances but I also found it to be very suspenseful at times. Eddie was never the best ski jumper but you just didn’t know whether or not he’s was going to make it after each jump. You were just invested in seeing how far he would end up. Overall, this is a great sports biopic which could have gone the cliche route but was elevated here thanks to great performances by Egerton and Jackman.

Score: 9/10

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