Hot Take: My 14-year-old self would love Eddie the Eagle. My adult self wasn’t nearly as thrilled but it’s definitely a feel good, inspiring tale.
What if someone took the true story of Michael “Eddie the Eagle” Edwards, ripped off the Cool Runnings narrative and combined them into a film? Enter Eddie the Eagle. While inspired by a true story, much of the story portrayed in Eddie the Eagle is embellished. The real eventual Olympic novelty didn’t have a mentor, wasn’t completely inexperienced in ski jumping, didn’t train in Germany and was already a known novelty when he arrived in Calgary for the ’88 Olympics (there was a fan club waiting upon his arrival at the airport). Other than that, the remaining 10% of the movie is completely accurate.
Leaving out the issue of an altered reality, the movie judged solely on it’s ability to function as a movie (not as historian) is an adequately inspiring sports movie with a very ’90s feel about it. It’s like if Cool Runnings had a dorky, awkward, white cousin. There’s no doubt there was some inspiration in the re-molding of the Eddie the Eagle story influenced by Cool Runnings.
Taron Egerton is somewhat entertaining as Eddie and Hugh Jackman is almost a carbon copy of John Candy’s character from Cool Runnings with the only upgrade being that it’s believable Jackman’s character was once Olympic-caliber. The obligatory training montage present in every “zero to hero” sports movie feels eerily familiar, too.
If you let yourself not get too annoyed by the obvious embellishments and blatant copy cat nature of the film, Eddie the Eagle is mostly enjoyable. Don’t expect anything too groundbreaking and lower your overall expectations and you might find yourself flapping along by the end.
“Spoiler Free” Pros
- The Ski Jump Scenes
The scenes are well shot and will put your stomach in knots with the “GoPro”-style camera shots. Unlike other films that struggle with the athletic scenes because it is an actor portraying the athleticism, Eddie the Eagle has the luxury of not necessarily needing to show the actor to show the athletic feats.
- It’s a Throwback
Eddie the Eagle does a great job of not trying to be something more than it is. If this film came out in the ’90s, it might have been a tougher sell because the market was saturated with films such as this. However, this feels like a refreshing homage to a different time in filmmaking. So, like the character it portrays, the movie has great timing.
“Spoiler Free” Cons
- Taking Too Many Liberties
With a story as well known as Eddie the Eagle, it’s hard to ignore the film’s fallacies. It’s not as egregious as last year’s Steve Jobs but it’s still hard to look past the altered reality of the movie.
- Corny Not Quirky
The movie tries with all it’s might to be quirky but often, it ends up just being corny.
- Why Wouldn’t Eddie Have A Song?
The Jamaican Bobsled Team had one, remember? Some people… you know they can’t believe… Jamaica have a bobsled team…