banner ad
banner ad
banner ad


| 3 March 2016 | Reply

Directed by Dexter Fletcher
Starring Taron Egerton, Hugh Jackman, Tom Costello Jr
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar

Eddie The Eagle poster

Call it tenacity, dumb luck or a special kind of madness (probably a little of all three) but somehow Eddie Edwards had what it takes to go from Gloucestershire in England to the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics ski jump finals after a childhood obsessed to the point of distraction with the idea of becoming an Olympian.

Put down by his birth-school-work-death plasterer father Terry (Keith Allen), held back by his working class origins, and eventually ridiculed and bullied by both his British Olympic squad teammates and competitors, the team officials actually changed the rules to exclude his qualifying ski jumps.

Edwards kept at it though, teaching himself the basics, then enlisting reluctant ex-champion Bronson Peary (Hugh Jackman) to help him master the big jumps.

Egerton does a great job of Hollywoodising Edwards’ awkwardness – let’s face it, he’s far too good looking for the role and doesn’t have the same excluded-from-society aura that Edwards has, but he certainly makes the movie accessible and his acting is flawless. Jackman, too, wears the bitter, alcoholic Peary well.

Although he never challenged – or tried to – the leaderboard or medals podium, Edwards captivated the Olympics crowd and media around the world with his forthright manner, earning the nickname The Eagle as he danced around in front of thousands after a successful jump. Let us not forget that during the Olympics he set a several British Winter Olympics records in the sport.

The scenes where Edwards climbs to the top of 70 or 90 meter high ski jumps are gut-churning for the height-challenged, and the jumps themselves are filmed so viscerally that white knuckles abound.

A heart-warming movie about one man’s search for a little moment of glory in a grey life, Eddie The Eagle gently reminds us that as a kid we’re all taught it’s not how whether we win or lose, but how we play the game – a notion that seems to be ground into the dust (or snow) by the time we become an adult.

Perhaps the most meaningful moment comes when Edwards is in an elevator ascending for his do or (literally) die jump with Finnish champion Matti Nykänen (played by Edvin Endre). The Finn, who had shunned Edwards at the start of his campaign, tells Edwards in plain language that although they are at opposite ends of the competition, they have the most in common. To them, what matters is not the medals, the records or the cheering crowds: all that matters is beating their own best.

And after all, isn’t that what the spirit of the Olympics is supposed to be all about?

Category: Movie & Theatre Reviews

About the Author ()

Editor, 100% ROCK MAGAZINE

Leave a Reply

Please verify you\'re a real person: * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

banner ad
banner ad