Since he was a ten year old boy, the British Michael “Eddie” Edwards dreamed of going to the Olympics. He still had to decide what sport to participate in. His father though wanted to sees son practicing a normal profession and one day he takes Eddie with him to work. This is in fact the day that Eddie chooses his sport: skiing. Determined as he is, he trains very hard. The ski federation however work against him by saying Eddie can not go to the Olympics as a skier: He is just not good enough. But Eddie has a lot of motivation and comes up with a new plan and a new sport, so he can still go to the Winter Games of 1988.
The idea to make a film out of this biography story of ski jumper Eddie Edwards, started with producer Matthew Vaughn, 15 years ago. He switched company and along with director Dexter Fletcher, the production of the film began. Despite of the fact the director thought Taron Egerton was “too handsome” for the role of Edwards, Egerton got the part. The young actor is particularly known for his role in spy film Kingsman: The Secret Service, where he showed he could carry a film as a lead actor. The other big role is played by Hugh Jackman. He plays the role of the American Bronson Peary, who is a former ski jumper and soon becomes Eddie’s trainer. There are also a few small roles, but the best ones are Eddie’s parents. His mother is played by Jo Hartley and is more supportive in her sons dreams than her husband. Keith Allen as Eddie’s father, thinks his son is crazy and not an athlete. The different opinions makes the interplay between the parents much more interesting and fun.
Who also should not be forgotten is Tom Costello, who plays the young Eddie Edwards. In the opening scene, we see how he tries various sports before deciding what sport to participate in. Despite several setbacks (he is not the most athletic person) he remains determined. This makes Eddie the Eagle the ultimate feel-good film. A film that shows that as long as you stay positive and have enough perseverance, you can realize your dream. The film also shows that you don’t have to be the best necessarily to extract satisfaction. Eddie was not the most athletic person or the best in his sport, but because he worked very hard to to get to the Olympics, and was getting better every time he jumped, Eddie had reasons enough to be extremely happy about his performance. These aspects make the film pretty cliché-prone, but Eddie the Eagle is a wonderful film for those who love this concept.
Taron Egerton plays Eddie very well. His passion, determination and joy as he sets new distance record over and over is very convincing. Additionally, Egerton is very good at making funny facial expressions. In his mission to go to the Olympic he needs help, which he hopes to find in Hugh Jackman’s character Bronson Peary. Years ago Peary was put off the US team despite of his talent. After much persuasion by Eddie, Peary decides to help him becoming a ski jumper. Since he doesn’t want to find Eddie dead in the snow after a failed attempt. So now Eddie has someone to try with, but still the British Olympic Committee doesn’t want him in the Olympic team. They clearly don’t believe in the phrase: Participation is more important than winning. What actually does apply for Eddie. After a lot of falls, bruises and nasty comments from other athletes, Eddie becomes the underdog of the 1988 Olympic Games.
But to get there, he must get permission from the British Committee and that is not easy. Eddie has to make a lot of jumps, which looks very nice. Because of the camera work, you almost feel the speed and the excitement each time Eddie makes a jump. Once he gets down and is back on his feet, you feel the same joy Taron Egerton successfully transfers trough the screen. His joy is also felt by the spectators, which makes Eddie very loved with the crowd. Something the other British athletes and the committee are not completely happy about. For the PR officer and the British BBC reporter (Jim Broadbent), it is a dream come true. It is even because of him Eddie Edwards got the nickname of Eddie the Eagle. The film has its serious moments, chasing a dream is serious business, but there’s also a lot of humor in it. That’s partly because of the fun characters and the interplay between the actors Jackman and Egerton.
The biography Eddie the Eagle is the ultimate feel-good film that shows you don’t have to be the best or the most athletic person to enjoy a sport. The film is also very entertaining, but a bit cliché-prone as well. This time that’s not really a bad thing, because who doesn’t want to get a good and positive feeling after watching a film? Taron Egerton and Hugh Jackman play their characters very well. Their interplay is both serious and humorous. The road to the Olympics meant making many jumps, which are very well shown because of good camera work. You feel the speed and how the excitement is rebuilt each time. The joy and discharge is something Egerton shows very well and you share his happiness. Once again Taron Egerton shows he can carry a film.