By Tom Flanagan
In 1988; The Winter Olympics were held in Calgary, Canada. Little did the world know of a plucky plasterer from Cheltenham who was about to soar, Britain’s first ever Olympic ski jumper, Eddie Edwards (Taron Egerton)
I do not believe this to be an overstatement, or hyperbole, but the true story biopic of Eddie ‘The Eagle’ Edwards’ 1988 Olympic success is the feel good movie of 2016. I’m willing to even go as far as saying it won’t be topped, and it’s only April. Many people reading this may only be aware of Eddie’s story through old news reports or the blethering of their mothers every time the winter Olympics came around. However, this movie brings the story of Eddie to a brand new generation of kids and young adults not old enough to witness his Calgary exploits first hand. Taron Egerton as Eddie really captures the persona of an ‘underdog’ from his biscuit tin full of NHS glasses or his pints of milk and awkward sexual encounters, there’s a feeling of endearment towards our moustachioed hero.
While critics may site its apparent inaccuracies, that fans of Eddie Edwards may be aggrieved by, the movie survives on its narrative. While the story the film tells may miss a few things, such as his training being in the states and not Germany, and him having 2 coaches, the story is a well written feel good masterpiece that can be enjoyed by all the family. Shaun Macauley and Simon Kelton need a pat on the back for the dialogue strong screenplay that I believe will win many a heart. A massive praise must also go to Dexter Fletcher’s directing of set, costume, and most importantly the soundtrack, which all worked as one beautiful machine to give it that 1980’s
Both Hugh Jackman and Clint Eastwood provide an interesting if not distracting subplot to the movie, even though it feels like the story of Bronson Peary battling his 1970’s demons was thrown in there so that Hugh Jackman could be a bigger part of the story. Nevertheless Jackman is perfect for the rock and roll ski jump renegade to bring Eddie’s passion out. Although I feel it will be Egerton as Eddie that everyone will remember when they leave the cinema.
Eddie the Eagle is a near genius rags to riches tale of a boy who escapes the cutthroat world of 1980’s Britain to achieve his dream, which I recommend to anyone, bring your grandma, bring your kids, and bring the Kleenex.
See films like this at the Macrobert Art Centre