Eddie the Eagle is the story of Eddie Edwards a British underdog ski jumper who charmed the world at the 1988 Winter Olympics. It stars Taron Egerton (Kingsman) Hugh Jackman (X-men, Les Miserables) and is directed by Dexter Fletcher (Sunshine on Leith).
From the first frame of the film we see Eddie and his pursuit of being an Olympic athlete as a young boy. The problem however with young Eddie is that he has no athletic ability and he also has leg issues and must wear a brace. None of this will deter him though and as an adult he steals his parents van and drives to Germany to learn to ski jump because Britain doesn’t have a ski team and no matter how good he is, if he can land a jump in a competition he will be on the team. It is in Germany that he meets Bronson Peary (Jackman), a American disgraced, retired, alcoholic ski jumper who now drives a snow-plow truck. These two form a odd-couple friendship as Eddie learns to Jump from Bronson and travels to Canada for the 1988 Olympics.
The film as a whole feels like a ski jump! It starts very disjointed and seems like it is racing out of control and will crash any second. But just when you think it will come smashing down, it finds its heart lifts off the ground and really flys. Egerton portrays Eddie with almost Asperger’s like personality and Jackman’s Bronson plays against Eddie with a brash honest chemistry that just works.
Now if your looking for authenticity, please go elsewhere. The only parts of the story that are true to life are the shots of the Winter Olympics in Canada. There is no Coach Bronson, not real life trip to Germany to train (He actually trained in Lake Placid with the Americans). However this film still works because the themes work. It is refreshing to me to see a sports biopic that is not about winning, but actually the journey to the event and just simply trying your best. There is a strong message to be yourself and stay true to who you are that resonated with me.
Eddie the Eagle tells us that if you follow you heart and never give up on your dreams that you may not change the world, but you can definitely still soar.
I give it 4 stars out of 5.