Movie Review: Eddie the Eagle
The tale of an irrepressible man with a big dream gets the glossy Hollywood treatment
With Taron Egerton, Hugh Jackman, Christopher Walken
While based on a true story of a sports underdog, Eddie the Eagle takes great liberties with the facts surrounding British ski jumper Eddie Edwards and his 1988 Winter Olympic performance. But the simple message survives the Hollywood embellishments — the most important thing isn't winning but participating. Setting aside that it is not the “true” story, it is good if light entertainment. The film in its own way parallels the underdog story, as it has its more than its share of cliches but tries its best to succeed in winning over the emotions of the audience.
We first meet Eddie as a boy who dreams of going to the Olympics, despite medical issues that keep him housebound. Eddie's father repeats to him over and over again, “Eddie, you are not an athlete.” He has a more practical future in mind for his son. But Eddie is not the type that gives up. On the contrary, tell a little boy he can't walk, and he will want to fly. Indeed, Eddie, played as an adult by Taron Egerton, found a loophole that would allow him to go to the 1988 Olympics Winter Games in Calgary to compete in ski jumping. Britain had no other entrants in this event and the rules were so outdated that almost anyone could apply. But even so, it was a struggle to get the stamp of approval, at least as the film tells it. Eddie isn't the only one in need of help. He finds a washed-up skier living at a training camp and hounds him for advice. The always reliable Hugh Jackman plays Bronson Peary, who after losing his own Olympic dreams fell into a liquor bottle and never swam out.
Will Peary crawl out of the bottle long enough to help Eddie? While most filmgoers know the answer, somehow Jackman makes it a compelling question and gets people on the edge of the seat. We find out that Peary was coached by Warren Sharp, played in the film by Christopher Walken. A major disappointment in the film is that we see Walken's picture on a book jacket time and time again, but it is like waiting for Godot. He does eventually turn up though, but for a much smaller role than expected considering his prominent billing in the credits. Taron Egerton, though, performs wonderfully as a naive and clumsy boy full of hope and perseverance even though no one takes him seriously. The actor has not had very many big roles so far and this may be his lucky break. He and Jackman together more than make up for the brevity of Walken's role. Only the most heartless audience members will fail to be caught up in hoping Eddie will manage some level of ski-jumping success, and in the process redeem the broken dreams of his coach.
There are a few gratuitous scenes that don't work, such as other athletes bullying Eddie, but this is not enough to sink the film. It in the end is a decent enough escapist comedy with good intentions and an uplifting message. It could have used a little more cowbell, though.
Video on YouTube
KineDok coming to MeetFactory by Institute of Documentary Film
Documentary series starts with the Latvian film My Father the Banker
Movie Review: Deepwater Horizon by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV
The true story of a disaster on an oil rig is turned into an old-school disaster film
Movie Review: Café Society by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV
Woody Allen returns to Hollywood's Golden Era for a look at the glamorous set on both coasts
Movie Review: Bridget Jones's Baby by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV
Renée Zellweger is finally back after a long absence from the screen
Interview: Ted Otis on working with Jan Němec by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV
Expat actor had a small but crucial role in The Wolf of Royal Vineyard Street
Movie Review: The Wolf from Royal Vineyard Street by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV (Foto: Vlk z Královských Vinohrad FB)
Famous Czech director has a last hurrah with a semi-autobiographical film
Czech Trekkies celebrate 50th anniversary of Star Trek by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV (Foto: startrek.com)
Events include a visit from a Deep Space Nine crew member, a trip to a set and a costume party
Movie Review: Nerve by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV
Techno thriller sends people on risky dares, but doesn't fulfill its own basic challenges
Movie Review: Sully by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV
The 'Miracle on the Hudson' comes to the big screen courtesy of Clint Eastwood
ASEAN festival shows films for free by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV
Five recent movies from Southeast Asia cover a spectrum of genres
Seasonal Ski Rental with 15% discount!
Personal Assistant who SAVES YOUR TIME and NERVES. Just ask...
Uncover the unique story behind the Staropramen brewery in...
Petra Měchurová Hair Salon right in the historical center...
Mortgage Loans and Consultancy
Find other singles quickly and face to face
Premium craft brewery in Prague 4
The House of Craft Beer in Prague