Eddie the Eagle (2016)

eddietheeagle_2016_poster
Eddie the Eagle (2016)
  • Time: 105 min
  • Genre: Biography | Drama | History
  • Director: Dexter Fletcher
  • Cast: Taron Egerton, Hugh Jackman, Christopher Walken

Storyline:

Inspired by true events, Eddie the Eagle is a feel-good story about Michael “Eddie” Edwards (Taron Egerton), an unlikely but courageous British ski-jumper who never stopped believing in himself – even as an entire nation was counting him out. With the help of a rebellious and charismatic coach (played by Hugh Jackman), Eddie takes on the establishment and wins the hearts of sports fans around the world by making an improbable and historic showing at the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics. From producers of Kingsman: The Secret Service, Eddie the Eagle stars Taron Egerton as Eddie, the loveable underdog with a never say die attitude.

4 reviews

  • Cinema has the power to take a subject that many probably don’t know about and make them overnight fans. I mean, who would have known that a wire-walking movie (2015’s The Walk) would have been interesting and polarizing enough to make people appreciate the next Cirque Du Soleil show?
    But now, we have a ski-jumping flick.

    Yea, I forgot that was a sport too.

    Many of us do, unfortunately. We relearn these unique, unknown sports every four years whenever the Olympics are on. Although we know little of the sport, we can appreciate a great athlete or a great story when we see one.

    Based on yet another true story (since we’re struggling in making new content), Eddie The Eagle is a should-have-been-made-for-TV movie about Michael Edwards (Taron Egerton), a British ski-jumper who dreamed of being an Olympian since he could remember. Most athletes master their craft during their early years; Eddie, on the other hand, kept failing in every athletic sport he tried. But of course, a future heartwarming story could not end there. With the support of his mother, along with the rejection of his father, Eddie realizes that Britain hasn’t had a ski jumper in the Olympics in decades, and finds out that he can qualify for the country’s team just by competing (regardless of how he did). When a committee decides to change its rule in order to leave him ineligible, he desperately tries to be the pupil of a former American ski-jumper (Hugh Jackman).

    Eddie The Eagle, though, fails to portray both, relying instead on bubble gum emotions to make one care long enough for the story. Eddie is predictable, unfunny, and will force you to find a heartwarming moment and say “aw.” We get it; Eddie didn’t have the best chances to an Olympian. But, we don’t need to be bombarded with others constantly expecting him to fail.

    His memorable appearance at the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics pushes itself to be an underdog movie that went too low in order to do so. Yes, movies such as these follow a specific code, such as a workout montage scene, a parent that doesn’t support them, and multiple strangers telling one they won’t achieve their goals.

    Here is the dilemma when it comes to Eddie the Eagle. Of course, this movie will long be forgotten once you leave the theater, but it does accomplish its goal: to make you flap your arms like an eagle whenever you successfully land a ski jump at your next winter ski resort.

    Similar to how Eddie put forth his best and didn’t care about the results, Eddie the Eagle tried to be impactful, but overall, will probably fall dead last in February’s movie lineup. With no originality and having only a handful of chuckles, it’s hard to relate to a movie that won’t be memorable for long. Without Hugh Jackman and Christopher Walken, the film would have been nothing more but an inspiration movie that you would glance over on Netflix.

  • Does anybody out there recall the 1988 Winter Olympics? I do. I was 13 going on 14. What I vaguely remember about those games was the fact that the United States had a lousy showing. The land I was born in finished below 9 other countries. In 88′, there was also British ski jumper Eddie “The Eagle” Edwards. He never won a medal, looked sort of funny, and became an affable media sensation. I remember watching highlights of his jumps but was never tuned in to his ultimate journey, his plight. With 2016’s Eddie the Eagle (my latest review), I now have that affinity. It’s only the month of March but “Eagle” stands as one of the best films I’ve seen this year. It’s about good-hearted people having good things happen to them. Ah, you know there’s nothing like warm, movie fuzzies when the temperature is 25 degrees outside. Natch.

    So OK, have you ever had a dream? Have you ever felt the need to pursue a dream? And were you in the mindset of not giving up no matter what odds stood in the way of fulfilling that dream? If these thoughts and notions pertained to you, then Rudy was the film to see back in the early 90’s. That was then and now Eddie the Eagle keeps the train rolling. “Eagle” is similar to that legendary, Notre Dame true story. The events feel almost identical in terms of underdog main characters, the ridicule they got from their peers and family members, their journey to notoriety, and the fact that they didn’t quite have gifted, athletic ability. Rudy remains in my top five list of best sports movies. Eddie the Eagle isn’t quite as invigorating but it’s more intricate in plot specifics. With a few feel-good moments and two likable leads (Hugh Jackman and Taron Egerton), it’s recommendable enough for at least a spot in my top twenty.

    Based on true events, featuring a soundtrack full of 80’s synthesizer music (sounding like residue from ABC’s Wide World of Sports), and giving us a neat cameo in the form of one Christopher Walken, “Eagle’s” trailer had me initially feeling a Disney sports vibe. For some reason however, it rises above that distributor’s brand of schmaltz and manipulative banter. The story chronicles the real-life (Michael) Eddie Edwards (Taron Egerton from Kingsman: The Secret Service). You see from the time Eddie was a youngster, he always wanted to be an Olympian. It didn’t matter what event. He put Olympic posters on his wall, practiced throwing the javelin in his backyard, and tried to do the high jump only to break many pairs of his glasses. At one point, his dad finally tells him, “Eddie, you’re not an athlete!” As time goes on, Ed ditches the idea of being in the Summer Olympics and instead decides he wants to ski in the Winter Olympics. After being rejected by British Olympic officials for being unrefined, he ends up finding a way to be the only ski jumper on the British Olympic team. He learns to fly high within a year (most people start practicing when they are 6 according to everyone in the flick). And with the help of a peevish, has-been Olympiad from the 70’s (Bronson Peary played by Hugh Jackman), Eddie “The Eagle” Edwards (a nickname given to him by a newscaster) vows to compete in the 15th Olympics via the city of Calgary, Alberta.

    Now despite using the overplayed Hall & Oats song, “You Make My Dreams” during its training montages, “Eagle” is still a movie that anyone of any age could like. Director Dexter Fletcher surprised me by how well he filmed the ski jump sequences. Whether it was through the eyes of Edwards himself (going down an in-run) or having the camera stuck right up in his face (in the middle of said in-run), the technique is quite impressive. In terms of the acting, well up-and-comer Egerton and top billed Jackman have great chemistry together. They give dynamic performances as bumbled ski monger and alcoholic-soaked, jumping guru. I had my reservations at first but it turned out to be perfect casting. Bottom line: Eddie the Eagle might be a little too playful to qualify as say, an Oscar contender. However, for 106 fervent minutes, it mostly “soars” (ha-ha). Rating: 3 stars.

    Of note: I got a kick out of the Jackman character. He smokes heavily, drinks from a flask because it keeps him warm (the dude doesn’t wear a coat even though it’s the middle of winter), works as maintenance guy and I guess, plows snow, and with ciggie in mouth, can still jump 90 metres in the dead of night. God bless ya mate!

    Rating: 3 out of 4 stars

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  • Quickie Review:

    Eddie Edwards (Taron Egerton) always had one goal in life since a very young age: to become an Olympian. Despite lacking in athletic ability, Eddie never gives up on his dream and hopes to represent his country in the Winter Olympics as a ski-jumper. However, the journey to the world stage will not be easy and he will need all the help he can get from a former rebellious ski-jumper Bronson Preary (Hugh Jackman). Eddie the Eagle, is inspired by true events, a story filled with characters that you will fall in love with. There’s nothing unexpected about the plot, so the storyline is a pretty generic. Yet due to the strong performances by the leads you care for every fall and tumble the characters go through. I’d be shocked if you didn’t leave the movie without a grin on your face.

    Full Review:

    I’m not familiar with Eddie’s story. You can blame my ignorance in the topic of Olympics, but hey I like a good underdog story. So while I did not know anything about Eddie going into the movie, I came out loving his determined spirit.

    Taron Egerton was great in his role as Eddie. This was a person who was naïve, reckless, and perhaps even a little irresponsible. And yet his determination to become an Olympian no matter how many bones he breaks made me root for him from the very beginning. Hugh Jackman played Eddie’s trainer, Bronson. In contrast to Eddie, Bronson has the skills and the experience to be a professional ski-jumper. What he lacks though is discipline and the willpower to never give up. The two of them depend on each other to better themselves in many ways. To see them bond and grow together was truly heart-warming and it will have you completely invested . On top of being a genuinely touching movie, it had some solid comedic moments. All the characters including the parents of Eddie are charming in their own ways, that kept the tone light and fun.

    What stops this movie from being great for me is the predictable story. There is nothing surprising, and is quite paint-by-the-numbers plot. I had no idea of the real-life story and still I could tell exactly how the movie would unfold. This is the only weakness that I can think of, but because it’s so apparent, it can’t be ignored. That being said, it can easily be forgiven.

    Eddie the Eagle is one of those movies that you would put on when you are having a bad day. It will instantly put a smile on your face, and remind you that it’s the courage to continue after failure that counts. Sure the story is one you have seen time and time again, but the wonderful characters make the movie unique and fun.

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  • Victory is oftentimes in the doing rather than the winning. Achievement after years of struggle and rejection makes the triumph all the sweeter. The Olympic Games have witnessed some of the greatest and also unlikeliest figures. Take the Jamaican bobsled team, four men who emerged as folk heroes and media darlings during the 1988 Winter Olympic Games. They didn’t win any medals, but they won the hearts of everyone who watched the Games. So, too, did another unexpected athlete: British ski jumper Michael “Eddie” Edwards.

    Eddie (Taron Egerton) always dreamed of being an Olympian despite being saddled with thick glasses, leg braces for his weak knees, and a prodigious incapacity for any sport he tried. The leg braces eventually went away, but the glasses and athletic incompetency were not so easily shuffled off though he was passably good enough to get himself rejected by the British Olympic Committee. “You’re not Olympic material,” he’s repeatedly told. His working-class father (Keith Allen) agrees – Eddie’s meant to follow in his footsteps and be a plasterer, not an athlete.

    Eddie will not be denied his lifelong dream. When he learns that he has a better chance of making it into the Olympics as a ski jumper (Britain had no ski-jump ramps and the last time they had someone compete in a ski-jump competition was back in 1929), he heads off to Garmisch, Germany to try his hand at the sport. Even though he’d never jumped in his life.

    There’s a certain fairy tale quality to the way screenwriters Sean Macaulay and Simon Kelton depict Eddie’s attempts to teach himself how to jump. His first tries the 15m jump and after once landing the jump, he decides he’s ready to try the 40m jump. Of course, the 40m proves far more difficult and he seeks out Bronson Peary for some advice. “Give up,” the washed-up former champion replies. Peary is a fictional character – a badass who drinks whiskey for breakfast and for whom the biting temperatures are but a warm summer breeze. He’s played by Hugh Jackman, whose lithe and graceful athleticism is a pleasure to watch. Jackman doesn’t try too hard to convey the necessary swagger – a bit of gruff charm, a dollop of grouchy pride there – and he doesn’t have to. This is a role where star quality matters and Jackman has it in spades. So much so that he nearly steals the movie from Egerton, who is almost ridiculously endearing as Eddie.

    Eddie the Eagle is unabashed in its unfaltering devotion to its “overcoming all odds” template. It means to be a crisp and cheery confection and it wholly succeeds on that level. The film has a great deal of heart and soul and, though the story is all too predictable even if you were familiar with Eddie’s heroic failure, it’s still hard not to be uplifted by his tale.

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