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Eddie The Eagle - Film Review

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by ABC Writer (subscribe)
Freelance journalist with a passion for theatre, the arts, food and books.
Published March 15th 2016
Hugh Jackman Stars In Uplifting Movie On Olympic Ski Jumper
The father of the modern Olympics Pierre de Coubertin famously summed up the games saying the important thing was not to win, but to take part, and the important thing in life was not the triumph, but the struggle.

It ever there was a story more true of that ethos, it's the real life tale of likeable British Olympic ski-jumper Eddie The Eagle Edwards, who won over hearts despite coming last in his competition.

eddie the eagle film, movie review, hugh jackman, Taron Egerton
Hugh Jackman stars in Eddie The Eagle movie

Eddie The Eagle retells Eddie's story (with a bit of poetic licence) but is there a sporting movie to be made out of the failure to clinch a medal?

This British film is very much in the same vein as John Candy movie Cool Runnings - about the Jamaican bobsleigh team's efforts to compete (but not win) in the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary. It's set during the same Olympics and has a similar charm, comedy and uplifting message of following your dream.

There's also an impressive cast that includes Hugh Jackman as Eddie's reluctant coach Bronson Peary, while Christopher Walken pops up in a minor but significant role too.

Leading man is Taron Egerton, who impressed as a suave trainee spy in Kingsman: The Secret Service. He is hardly recognisable as the dippy, happy-go-lucky Eddie behind 1980s NHS glasses.

eddie the eagle film, movie review, hugh jackman, Taron Egerton
The struggles of ski-jumper Eddie The Eagle make for a funny, uplifting film

Talented Egerton has got the ski-jumper's mannerisms down to a tee and makes the character likeable enough to make you cheer him on from your cinema seat.

The story, accompanied by a wonderful 1980s pop soundtrack, follows Eddie's determination to reach an Olympics no matter what, as far back as his childhood. There's some tender, sentimental and comic scenes with his mum and dad in their terraced house. While his mum gives him a biscuit tin to collect his medals in, his unsympathetic father, played by Keith Allen, can't fathom why Eddie doesn't want to become a plasterer instead.

But becoming Great Britain's first Olympic ski-jumper is going to be no easy feat and the struggles along the way are what make this a heart-warming and uplifting film.

eddie the eagle film, movie review, hugh jackman, Taron Egerton
Hugh Jackman and Taron Egerton have a good chemistry on screen in Eddie The Eagle movie.

Heading to Bavaria to the ski jumps at Garmisch-Partenkirchen makes for an attractive snow-capped setting, but this is where Eddie also bumps into one-time American ski-jumping star Bronson Peary, who has turned to drink.

Reluctantly persuaded to help Eddie, Bronson finds new meaning in life. It's the relationship between these two men which is at the heart of the film and the chemistry between Egerton and Jackman is the essence of its success.

eddie the eagle film, movie review, hugh jackman, Taron Egerton
Eddie The Eagle movie will make you cheer on Eddie from your cinema seat

Directed by British actor Dexter Fletcher, he's added plenty of upper class snobs to try and thwart Eddie along the way, which makes for some juicy adversity and tension. By the time the finale reaches the Olympic competition, you can't help but be fully willing Eddie on.

It's an easy, watchable movie that plays on the fact that everyone loves backing an underdog - and you don't get more of one than British ski-jumper Eddie the Eagle.

You'll laugh, you'll feel proud and you may even be inspired. This film really is a winner.

Rating: 9/10

The film previews in the UK on Easter Monday 28 March before opening on general release on April 1 and later around the world.

A 20th Century Fox film

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Why? See an uplifting movie about the Olympics
When: From March 2016
Where: Cinema near you
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