Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Movie Review: Eddie the Eagle

When you need an uplift, a good underdog story always does the trick.  Eddie the Eagle, starring, Taron Egerton and Hugh Jackman, tells the real-life story of British ski-jumper, Michael Edward Edwards.  Eddie grew up always wanting to compete in the Olympics and the opening scene has him timing how long he can hold his breath under water.  His parents - specifically his Dad - try to dissuade him from such nonsense as pursuing a career at the Olympics, but this resilient fella won't stop dreaming.

As Great Britain has no ski-jumping team, Eddie's efforts are ironically all uphill.  He finds himself at 22 years of age doing what he should have been doing at 6 in order to compete as an Olympian.  As he is practicing to compete, he providentially meets Bronson Peary, a former US Olympic ski-jumper that was kicked off the team due to his behavior and alcohol usage.  After much cajoling, Eddie convinces Bronson to coach him to qualify for the Olympics.  No spoilers here, but Bronson did agree to coach him and you'll have to watch the rest of the movie to see what happens.

I wasn't sure when I watched this movie if this was a true story, and it was.  It was nice not to know the details going in so I could enjoy the story as it unfolded.  In this year of the Olympics (albeit summer not winter), it's refreshing to watch a positive story about a young man who never gave up on his dream.  The movie won't make you think too hard but will make you flap like an eagle - which you'll need to watch the movie to understand that.  Hugh Jackman does a good job, but I think this role is somewhat of a no-brainer for him.  Not much effort needed to portray the role and probably easy money for Mr. Jackman.  From my research of the real Eddie the Eagle, Taron Egerton did an excellent job in transforming himself physically into this character, including mannerisms.  He definitely did an amazing job in this role.

I give this movie 3.5 stars.  Good story and though somewhat predictable, that's excused knowing this was a true story.  Uplifting tale in a time when we all could use a little good news.  

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