Review: ‘Eddie The Eagle’ Makes Dreams Come True
Inspirational | Well-Done | Memorable
One of my favorite types of movies is the underdog sports story. Well folks, we’ve got one right here in “Eddie the Eagle.” From the touching opening, all the way through the trials and tribulations, including being underscored by an excellent soundtrack, it’s hard not to fall in love with Eddie Edwards and his dream of being an Olympian.
Many had their reservations about this one, thinking it’d just be a vehicle for Hugh Jackman where he takes all of the glory. All those reservations are wrong, because while Jackman is a memorable part of this movie, it’s Taron Egerton’s performance as Eddie that will make you come back for more.
Cinematics – 4
The only problem I have with the film, as a whole, is how predictable it was. Yes, it’s an underdog story, so you’d expect the protagonist is going to go though hell and high water to achieve his goal, accomplishing just that in the end. While Eddie does fail quite a bit throughout the story, I never truly felt like he wouldn’t achieve his dream in the end. In films like “Rocky,” “Friday Night Lights,” and “Remember the Titans” there were times where I completely believed the protagonist/protagonists were defeated and could not triumph over adversity. For “Friday Night Lights,” I was right, and still consider it to be one of the best sports films because of its ending. With Eddie, while I enjoyed it thoroughly, I never felt a sense of doom, panic or depleting hope.
Other than that one missing aspect, the film is wonderfully made and can be best described as a “great underdog story.” That’s exactly what it is and doesn’t need to be anything more. You can take your entire family to it, and everyone will enjoy and possibly shed a few tears, particularly with the interactions between Eddie and his mother.
Those interactions wouldn’t have been as incredible without Egerton and Jo Harley’s performances, particularly Egerton in this case. He’s our underdog, our hero, and we never lose sight of that during the 105-minute runtime. He’s just as lovable in the last seconds as he is in the first minutes, and you’re happy with his journey by the end of it all. I surely do hope Egerton gets some kind of Award nod for this. He absolutely deserves it. I’m not calling it one of the greatest performances of all-time, but adding this role to his entertaining performance in “Kingsman: The Secret Service,” it’s safe to say that Egerton is going to be seen a lot more in the future.
Going alongside Egerton’s great performance and this film’s beautifully structured story is Hugh Jackman, who plays the drunken, washed-up ex-ski jumper from America. While at first he did feel a little awkward and out of place, he comes full circle when Eddie and himself are alone for the first time, when Bronson Peary (Jackman) starts teaching Eddie what it means to “fly.” Jackman’s performance isn’t anything to write home about, but he molds well with the story and Eddie, including having a touching character arc that will most likely drain a few tears from people.
Entertainment Value – 5
Is it “Rudy,” “Glory Road,” or “Miracle?” No, but if you haven’t been able to tell, I enjoyed this film with a bright smile from beginning to end. If the excellent soundtrack doesn’t get your foot tapping, then you’ll start bouncing your leg because your anticipation and nerves about Eddie’s final jump will be too much for you to handle.
Go see this movie. It’s worth the morning and afternoon matinee prices, and it’s also worth the $14.69 evening prices that have plagued our movie theaters. I guarantee you’ll have a wonderful time and be delighted with the great performances and character chemistry, as well as a brilliant and uplifting story.
Rewatchability – 5
I have no problem putting on this film when I’m writing or doing chores around the house. I also have no problem with turning this one back on when I’m just looking to watch something. It’s a pleasure to watch, which is the feeling I want to have every time I watch a movie, so you bet I’ll be purchasing this on Blu-ray when it comes out.
The premise of this film is based on a true story and that is what makes the Blu-ray bonus features so awesome! If you enjoyed the correlation to the real life story then these bonus features will definitely hold some supplemental value.
In addition to the usual extras that you see on Blu-rays, you get to see the mechanics behind becoming a professional ski jumper. There’s a lot of history in the extras as well as the stunt work that went into the film. If you found this tale to be heartwarming, then the bonuses here will definitely make the experience a bit more enriching.
- Entertainment Value
While you never fear that Eddie will not triumph, underneath that missing aspect is a beautifully crafted and inspirational film. Taron Egerton keeps you mesmerized with his absolutely believable performance, and the soundtrack keeps you locked in on the light-hearted and fun tone of this story. Go see this one and watch another great underdog sports story.
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