Review - Eddie the Eagle
By midlandsmovies, Apr 21 2016 01:32PM
Eddie the Eagle (2016) Dir. Dexter Fletcher
British rising star, Taron Egerton (Kingsman, Legend) has teamed up with producer Matthew Vaughn (X-Men, Kingsman) to bring us a biopic about a different kind of hero. Eddie the Eagle follows the story of British ski-jumper Michael ‘Eddie the Eagle’ Edwards and his journey to the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary. Directed by Dexter Fletcher and produced by Marv Films Eddie the Eagle is a heart-warming tale of determination and friendship that will make you laugh, cry and want to do everything in your power to achieve your dreams.
Having been born seven years after the 1988 Winter Olympics occurred; I had no idea who Eddie the Eagle was until I found out that this film was being made and part of the film’s beauty is that even if you have no clue who Eddie is, you still immediately connect with him. This is down to the talent and charm of Egerton who is unrecognisable as Eddie and pulls off a persuasive performance as the characterful ski-jumper, bringing both a likeability and vulnerability to the character. Hugh Jackman (Wolverine) takes on the role of a fictional character, former ski-jumper and Eddie’s unwilling coach, Bronson Peary and although it sounds like an odd pairing, their relationship quickly becomes the heart of the film.
At first Bronson is portrayed as a washed up, retired Olympian with a bad attitude and is not one to shy away from his belief that Eddie is crazy to think that he can learn to ski-jump and compete in the Winter Olympics. However, as the film progresses we see that Bronson warms to Eddie and agrees to help him. In turn, Eddie seems to bring out the best in Bronson and we see how the two characters are equally gaining from their unlikely friendship.
Throughout the film I found myself willing Eddie to succeed in every moment and there is a continued element of camaraderie as the audience experiences everything that he goes through; from wincing at his physical pain when he inevitably falls (a lot) to bursting with pride and getting a little emotional and teary-eyed when he finally fulfils his goals. The landscape cinematography and point of view shots of Eddie at the top of the ski-jumps make you feel like you’re with him every step of the way and avoiding the use of CGI where possible makes it all the more authentic.
The soundtrack for the film, created by Gary Barlow, is also a highlight, especially if you’re a big eighties fan. With tracks from the likes of Kim Wilde, Go West, ABC, Tony Hadley and a song in the end credits by the stars of the film, Egerton and Jackman (always a nice touch) the music is the cherry on top of a good old-fashioned, whole-hearted British film.
Overall, it lived up to its expectations of being a feel-good, family film with a positive message and combines this with both a brilliant cast and upbeat soundtrack.