Taron Egerton (Legend, Kingsman) plays a plucky British ski jumper in this quite charming story about an underdog who defied the establishment. The year is 1988 and the Winter Olympics is happening in Calgary, Canada. In this competition, the determined Eddie ‘The Eagle’ Edwards (Taron Egerton), the first ever British person to compete in the scary ski jump at the Winter Olympics. With his thick glasses and lack of sporting skill, he is obviously not cut out for the sport but nonetheless presents a will to succeed. This unfathomable underdog persona puts him on a collision course with fame and he becomes one of the most unlikely British sports stars.
This is a biopic, and based on the true story of the real ski jumper Eddie ‘The Eagle’ Edwards. This is a man who had acquired failure after failure. This turned him into a hit with the press. Public opinion was divided over this man. Many thought he was irritating. The English sports board for their squad wanted him out and they thought he was an embarrassment but the overall consensus from the English people themselves was positive. This is an emotional and feel good movie about achieving your dreams against impossible odds. The movie also co-stars Eddie’s firm but fair trainer Bronson Peary, played by Hugh Jackman (Les Misrables, X-Men).
Eddie has had a dream since childhood to compete in The Winter Olympics. He has tried all numbers things and then finds ski jumping. As child, he suffered from affliction in his leg that got so serious that doctors told him that he might never walk again. These were leg and knee ailments. He overcame these physical barriers to fulfill his dream of being an olympian and became a decent downhill skier until the pompous British snobs on the on the British team kept him out of the 1984 games. He was far from rich and wealthy so he wasn’t even allowed to try. A British team executive says “frankly Eddie, you will never be Olympic material”. To be constantly put down, is soul-destroying stuff. To be consistently told “no” pushes Eddie to achieving his goal. They say no, so he says yes I can do this.
He’s out to prove everyone wrong. Even his own father doesn’t believe in him when he tells him that he will never be an athlete. His father, Terry (Keith Allen), always disapproved of his profession and wanted Eddie to be a plasterer like he is. He wanted Eddie to get a proper job. Jobs like being a sportsman, a writer, a filmmaker for example weren’t considered proper jobs. Especially, back in the 1980s where it was very conservative. Even now, as freethinking as society is, jobs like this aren’t considered proper jobs by a lot of people. But his sweet mom (Jo Hartley) always supported Eddie in whatever he chose to do. She’s just happy that he’s following his passion and dreams rather than his father who only cared about the money.
This is a nice little feature about one man’s ability to rebel against the system in the only way he knew how. A working class man representing his country at The Winter Olympic games. We receive great performances from Egerton and his mentor in the form of a Hugh Jackman who plays a drunken retired ski jumper.
I really enjoyed the movie but it really is just another British feel-good movie yet it perked me up. Unlike other feel-good movies, the acting was on point, great writing, direction and a stellar soundtrack.