Eddie The Eagle(2016)
- RatedPG13 /GenreDrama
- + Be the first to review
You might not remember anything about Eddie the Eagle, the British sportsman who livened up the 1988 Winter Olympics with his can-do spirit. This film bears some resemblance to his life story but it'd be a strain to call this a biopic.
In the film version of that tale, Eddie Edwards (played by Taron Egerton) has always wanted to be an Olympian.
After failing to make Britain's ski team, seemingly due to his clumsiness and lower class roots, Eddie decides to try to make it as a ski jumper, a sport that Britain has no representation in.
Following his flash of inspiration, Eddie travels to Germany to practise. As expected, it's as hard as it looks, and Eddie realises he needs some coaching.
In steps Bronson Peary (Hugh Jackman), former US Olympian gold medal prospect turned snow groomer. Eddie tries to get Bronson to become his coach, and the grizzled has-been decides to, because what do you know? He's looking for redemption.
After a few falls and stumbles, Eddie succeeds to get a place in the Winter Olympics, but not before having a massive fallout with Bronson. Apparently Bronson believes Eddie should skip this Olympics and prepare for the next one.
You'll probably be able to figure out the rest of this paint-by-the-numbers story. All the sports cliches are here; the training montage, the protagonist giving up, the fallout with his coach, the unwavering support of his mother, and so on. There are even a few jokes you'll find familiar from other movies, such as Jackman faking an orgasm, which might be one of the lowest points of his career.
The main issue is that every character in the movie is pretty much one-dimensional. Eddie is single-mindedly focused on getting into the Olympics, and Hugh Jackman's portryal of an overbearing alcoholic coach is just as bland. From Eddie's mother to everyone else, there is an utter lack of depth that just makes the movie's inaccuracies more grating.
This underdog sports movie has obvious similarities to 'Cool Runnings', the 1993 Disney film about the Jamaican bobsled team that took part in the same Olympics, but Eddie just lacks Running's fluid humour and more outrageous fish-out-of-water story.
Egerton, familiar to some as Gary in Kingsman, can't do much to make the bland character come alive, while Jackman delivers a workman-like performance. After starring in last year's big bomb 'Pan', Jackman should think about the direction his career is heading in.
Still, the film isn't a complete wipeout. There is a great moment when Bronson tries to explain “the Jumper's Paradox”, the contradictions inherent in the ski jumper's flight, and when one of the competitors gives Eddie some food for thought about the nature of ski jumping.
Directed by actor/director Dexter Fletcher, this feel-good movie tries too hard while piling on the inaccuracies, and Eddie comes across more as a determined eccentric versus a determined individual.
The filmmakers have conveniently left out the final part of the story. After his brief flight at the 1988 Olympics, Eddie never managed to make it into any other subsequent Olympics, so Jackman's speech about doing your best in order to prepare is just hokum.
Some days, you just need to take advantage of the loophole and go for it.