Today: April 11, 2024

Eddie The Eagle

Remember when you were at school and everyone said “it’s not the winning, it’s the taking part that counts”. You probably didn’t believe it then, there’s a part of you that probably doesn’t believe it even now. By the end of Eddie The Eagle that belief may have changed.

You might think you know the real underdog story of the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary Canada. It’s the Jamaican bobsleigh team right? Well, while the true story behind Cool Runnings is one of the ultimate feel good films so too Eddie The Eagle will make a worthy bedfellow to that title.

Michael “Eddie” Edwards (Taron Egerton) has had one dream his entire life, to be an Olympian. But with his father Terry (Keith Allen) telling him he’s no athlete Eddie looks like he is about to give up on the dream. That is until he realises he could be a winter Olympian. When he discovers that there has never been a British ski jumper Eddie sets about proving everyone wrong. Of course along the way he meets a boozy former jumper in the shape of Hugh Jackman and before long, despite your cynicism, you’re going to be swept away by Eddie’s sheer determination.

Almost to a tee Eddie The Eagle borrows heavily from Cool Runnings, beat for beat it is unashamedly using Runnings as a template. But if it isn’t broken, why fix it? Dexter Fletcher, off the back of his double success of Wild Bill and Sunshine On Leith, continues to prove why he is a talent to keep your eye on. Because doing comedy and heart at the same time is something that is in rare quantity in modern cinema. These days it’s much more about the laughs than the love.

It is there that Eddie The Eagle really flies. Many of the gags are as broad as they come but you fall for Eddie. In no small part thanks to a chameleon like performance from Taron Egerton. After Kingsman Egerton almost certainly had offers coming out of his ears. Presumably from Hollywood to don some lycra and leap tall buildings. But Egerton comes across as an actor who is much more interested in the craft than the stardom. As Eddie he brings not just heart, determination and laughs but a sense of pride, in spite of everyone laughing at him. His jutting jaw and gawky blank expression lend a sense of the Forrest Gump to proceedings and, like Tom Hanks in that role, it’s hard not to fall for him.

The chemistry between Egerton and Jackman is also a key selling point. They are polar opposites but this odd couple could easily have countless spin-offs together. On this home entertainment release the real Eddie is a key part in the making of documentary and whenever he talks you’re more and more convinced by Egerton’s performance. Because Eddie is still that guy, that guy who never gave up, who never lets the world get him down. And, like the film based on him, it’s contagious.

Transporting you back to the ‘80s, thanks to a cracking and emotionally air-punching score, Eddie The Eagle is obvious, cliched and utterly charming  as a result. This is one film that, in spite of yourself, is going to make you soar.

Alex Moss Editor

Alex Moss’ obsession with film began the moment he witnessed the Alien burst forth from John Hurt’s stomach. It was perhaps ill-advised to witness this aged 6 but much like the beast within Hurt, he became infected by a parasite called ‘Movies’. Rarely away from his computer or a big screen, as he muses on Cinematic Deities, Alex is “more machine now than man. His mind is twisted and evil”. Email:

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