EDDIE THE EAGLE (PG)
D: Dexter Fletcher
Lionsgate/Marv/TSG/Studio Babelsberg (Adam Bohling, David Reid, Rupert Maconick, Valerie Van Galder & Matthew Vaughn)
UK/USA/Germany 🇬🇧 🇺🇸 🇩🇪 2016
W: Sean Macauley & Simon Kelton
DP: George Richmond
Ed: Martin Walsh
Mus: Matthew Margeson
Taron Egerton (Michael 'Eddie The Eagle' Edwards), Hugh Jackman (Bronson Peary), Iris Berben (Petra), Keith Allen (Terry Edwards), Jo Hartley (Janette Edwards), Christopher Walken (Warren Sharp)
This lighthearted biopic of Eddie 'The Eagle' Edwards, who rather cruelly became the butt of many jokes after his great failure of finishing last at the 1988 Winter Olympics, is very much presented in the same format as 1993's Cool Runnings, which is another film to hail the achievements of people who weren't archetypal Olympic athletes.
The film starts with Edwards as a young boy with a dream of becoming an Olympian, and after being cut from his local skiing team, he exploits a loophole so he can represent Britain in the ski-jumping event. The only catch is- he's never participated in the event before, and with the help of a disgraced former professional, overcomes the obstacles to get to the Winter Olympics, where he still fails to earn the respect of his peers but won the hearts of the crowd by encapsulating the 'can do' spirit of the games, especially as an amateur who competed for the sake of his own ability, regardless of his chances of victory, and for him, breaking a personal best and Great British record was enough to cue the celebrations.
Like most films based on true life events, liabilities are taken with facts, and Hugh Jackman's character is completely fabricated for the benefit of the plot. In real life, Eddie Edwards' struggle was a lot more difficult and he felt that each jump could be his very last as he trained for his chance. The biggest negative of the real life story is that changes to Olympic rules following Edwards' debut ensured its practically impossible to follow in his shoes (or skis, in this instance).
As for the film, it's a wonderful feelgood comedy, with a brilliant lead performance by Taron Egerton, who has the real life Eddie's mannerisms nailed to an absolute T.