The 1988 Winter Olympics were apparently a games made for “feel good” movies; 1993’s Cool Runnings inserting itself into pop-culture with its fictionalised retelling of the very team that attempted something incredible.
Now 2016 brings us Eddie The Eagle.
A champion in his homeland of England, it’s time to remind those who may have forgotten him that his story is still out there, and to introduce him to those who never knew this story of the underdog.
From a young age, Eddie Edwards (Taron Egerton) dreamt of Olympic glory. Against his fathers constant disapproval and discouragement, he fights toward his “moment” and finds a sport that may just give him this; Ski Jumping. With an unbreakable will and a drunken coach (Hugh Jackman), Eddie picks up his skis and flies toward his moment.
I got excited as MARV flashed upon the screen once the film started. The production house of Producer, Writer and Director Matthew Vaughn, I’ve found their brand to be synonymous with “quality films”, and Eddie The Eagle definitely joins this staple. Egerton lovingly lights up the screen as Eddie, portraying this man’s determined spirit and positive nature with such eagerness that even in his darkest moments, he still shines. Jackman as the fictionalised coach Bronson Peary is a classic cliched broken character, but Jackman’s own charisma pushes that boring archetype out the window as you can’t help but find yourself informed by his own relationship with Eddie.
The sport itself is lovingly represented on-screen with visceral point-of-view shots interspersed with dramatically over-lit framed shots of the characters as they slowly move through the air, the speed all but adding to the tension.
A soundtrack lovingly wrapped in the 80’s features classic tracks from Hall & Oates and Frankie Goes To Hollywood, who find themselves grouped amongst a synth-pop arrangement with some wispy acoustic guitar numbers for good measure.
Like any classic “feel good” sports film, Eddie The Eagle dances between the dramatic and the comedic; the underdog’s unrelenting will to accept defeat during the tough times, is off-set with moments such as a Jackman scene that puts him on-par with Kate & Leopold co-star Meg Ryan’s infamous Diner scene.
After watching Eddie The Eagle, you’ll find it hard not to flap your wings.
Eddie The Eagle will make you want to go out and find your moment.