Never stop in the face of no. That’s the message I received watching “Eddie the Eagle.” I know what you’re thinking. Isn’t this one of those underdog type movies and haven’t they all been done? To a certain extent, most films aren’t breaking new ground; what makes them memorable is in the execution. This might include the actors, the dialogue, the cinematography, or any other salient features. What makes this underdog film stand out is our lead, Taron Egerton (“The Kingsmen: The Secret Service”) and his commitment to bringing Michael “Eddie” Edwards’ story come to life on the screen. Eddie the Eagle is the story about the British ski jumper who managed to compete in the 1988 Calgary Olympics on his own merit and perseverance.
From the moment we see the overextended chin and oversized glasses on Egerton’s face, it’s hard not to become involved in this story. When we meet Eddie on the slopes, he topples over the rest of the ski team like dominoes. His goofiness provides the comic relief in the film which provides levity each time he’s rejected. This Olympics-obsessed guy doesn’t let anyone stop him, even when he’s told: “You’ll never be Olympic material” after being cut from the British downhill ski team which doesn’t allow him to try out for the Olympic ski trials. Eddie sets his eyes on ski jumping. When he arrives in Germany, the synth-pop soundtrack and score place you in the setting and place of Eddie’s life. Egerton manages to make you laugh, empathize, and rejoice with him in each scene.
The rest of the film comes off as a stereotypical underdog film. The viewer meets Bronson Peary (Hugh Jackman), a disgraced, alcoholic ski jumper that plows the slopes Eddie practices on. Jackman’s character plays the reluctant coach that leads him to Eddie’s victory in the Winter Olympics. Hugh Jackman is the biggest name in this movie, which will draw people to theaters, but he’s playing a watered down version of his best roles, like a Wolverine without superpowers. However, the lead, Taron Egerton, only has 2014 crime film “The Kingsmen” to his name. Egerton was the best part of the film as his passion inspired viewers to continue following their dreams, regardless of any obstacles they may face.
Eddie “The Eagle” Edwards’ story is one that, as mentioned before, isn’t novel. However, in this film, viewers are on the edge of their seats. The audience is engaged especially in the third act of the film, at the Calgary Olympics in Canada. We are rooting for him because we see ourselves reflected in Eddie. He’s proving everyone wrong every which way throughout the picture. In the vein of “Cool Runnings,” “Rocky,” or “Rudy,” this film delivers. It’s an inspirational story that provides the audience with hope. With guts and gumption, you can make make your dreams come true.