Everything You’d Expect
Eddie the Eagle is brought to us by producer extraordinaire Matthew Vaughn and is directed by Dexter Fletcher (Sunshine on Leith (2013)). It tells the tale of the first and so far only British Olympic ski jumper, Eddie Edwards (Taron Egerton), who must overcome the odds and a reluctant British Olympic Committee to appear at the 1988 Calgary games. He finds help in the form of disgraced US ski jumper Bronson Peary (Hugh Jackman) who is won over by Eddie’s determination and drive to succeed.
The best way to get a handle on what type of film this is, is to think of it as an English version of Cool Runnings (1993). Jackman is John Candy, a man with a past he would probably like to forget who finds redemption by giving something back to the sport he once loved. Egerton is the Jamaican bobsleigh team who must deal with prejudice from fellow jumpers and his own team fearful of being made a laughing stock. It is everything you would expect from a movie in this genre and follows a well worn path. That being said it’s a very successful formula and I’m a sucker for it. If I wanted to I could map out the plot beat-by-beat but I don’t, I just sit there and lap it all up.
The main reason for my love of these films is that I am a bit of a sucker for saccharine sweet sentimentality having being raised on a steady diet of Steven Spielberg. To put it into context I am one of the world’s biggest fans of a movie called We Bought a Zoo (2011) if you can remember that film starring Matt Damon. Some critics said it gave them tooth ache while I raved about it. It remains a highly prized DVD.
Being critical there are a few flat spots in the film were the energy flags a bit and the CGI is not always of the highest quality as best demonstrated in a couple of crashes on the jumps. However I think Eddie the Eagle is about as good as you can expect from this type of film. I’m not sure how this is going to resonate with younger audiences as the events portrayed in the film are 25+ years ago now. I might be over scoring slightly for those of you who don’t like these films as much as I do, my rating 4/5.