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Eddie the Eagle (2016) Movie Review by Stephen McLaughlin

EDDIE THE EAGLE

Director: Dexter Fletcher 
Writers: Sean Macaulay (screenplay), Simon Kelton (screenplay) 
Stars: Taron Egerton, Hugh Jackman, Tom Costello 

This is the story of Eddie Edwards, the British underdog Ski Jumper who won the hearts of the world at the Winter Olympics in 1988.

Eddie the Eagle is a feel-good story (inspired by true events about Eddie Edwards (Taron Egerton), a courageous Ski Jumper who never stopped believing in himself.

The movie begins with a young Eddie in 1973, struggling in a leg brace trying to pursue his Olympic dream with no success whatsoever. His battle is not just against his lack of skill and whilst his mother played by Jo Hartley (David Brent – Life on the Road) is very supportive, his father Terry played by Keith Allen (Fat Les) is hugely frustrated at his son’s ambitions and instead wanting him to follow in the family plastering tradition.

With the help of reluctant coach Bronson Peary (played by Hugh Jackman) who portrays the drunk washed up trainer that takes Eddie from being a wannabe to an Olympic athlete.

The chemistry between Egerton and Jackman is just right and at no point does Jackman overshadow the up and coming Egerton who made his name as Gary ‘Eggsy’ Unwin in “Kingsman: The Secret Service” back in 2014.

Egerton embraces the role and the characteristics (with his on spot facial expressions) of the real Eddie Edwards really makes the audience root for the underdog. Eddie is a character that you cannot dislike.

For anyone who isn’t sure or even heard of Eddie the Eagle. Don’t expect him to go from Hero to Zero with a collection of Olympic Gold Medals at the end of this movie.

The film primarily takes place in mid 1987 and Bronson Peary even mentions that it would take years to become a successful Olympian in Sky Jumping.

Eddie decided on ski jumping even though he didn’t know anything about it and was told repeatedly (mostly by Peary and the Norwegian team) that, even in his early 20s, he was way too old to learn it and get good at it. But he still gave it his best shot.

Eddie’s take on the Olympics and Life itself is to do your best no matter what the outcome is. To quote Pierre de Coubertin (father of the modern Olympics) “The important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win, but to take part; the important thing in Life is not triumph, but the struggle; the essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well.”

Not only is Eddie up against it with his Jumping skills (or should be Landing in the early stages) He is also up against a very staunch British Olympic Committee who make it clear to him that they “don’t like his sort” and in particular by Olympic selector Dustin Target, played by Tim McInnerny (Black Adder)

This movie provides a great amount of entertainment and there are plenty of comedic moments with Taron Egerton at the center of all of them. Highly recommended.