Eddie The Eagle


Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

Eddie The Eagle
"You don't have to like skiing, or care less about the Olympics, to root the hell for Eddie"

Unlike alpha male nations where winning means the world the Brits love a loser and who better than a four-eyed plasterer's son who had neither sponsorship nor experience?

Eddie Edwards's story is one of tenacity, courage and determination. The film lapses into invention every now and then to add spice to its legend, the best being Eddie's reluctant, alcoholic, once-I-was-a-contender coach, Bronson Peary (Hugh Jackman), who brings true grit and a cynical edge to proceedings.

Copy picture

Eddie (Taron Egerton) became a B-list celeb during the 1988 Calgary Winter Games by competing in the ski jump and coming last in every category, despite breaking the British record twice, which wasn't so hard since no one had tried ("If you go for the 90 I'll be measuring you for your coffin before you reach the stairs," Bronson warns) since 1929.

All that stuff about taking part being as important as winning is not merely a sweetener for failure. It is the how as much as the why that fuels this engine. The Norwegians start training for the jumps at six years old. Eddie, 22, had only been at it 12 months before Calgary.

You don't have to like skiing, or care less about the Olympics, to root the hell for Eddie. By achieving what he did against all the odds, which included mockery from his team (not) mates and disdain from the British officials, means that he was a winner after all - a winner of sorts.

This could have been saccharine soaked with its feel good massage, but writers Sean Macaulay and Simon Kelton stay the dry side of the sentimental swamp, although tears will fall - remember to hanky up - and hearts leap.

It has been a long time since pride in a homegrown film matches the emotional intensity of watching a little guy in glasses try not to kill himself.

Three cheers for The Eagle! Let's hear it for Edwards GB!

Reviewed on: 31 Mar 2016
Share this with others on...
Eddie The Eagle packshot
The story of Eddie Edwards, the notoriously tenacious British underdog ski jumper who charmed the world at the 1988 Winter Olympics.
Amazon link

Director: Dexter Fletcher

Writer: Sean Macaulay, Simon Kelton

Starring: Taron Egerton, Hugh Jackman, Keith Allen, Jo Hartley, Tom Costello, Tim McInnerny, Mark Benton, Iris Berben, Jim Broadbent, Jack Costello, Rune Temte, Christopher Walken

Year: 2016

Runtime: 106 minutes

BBFC: PG - Parental Guidance

Country: UK, US, Germany


Search database: