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Review: Eddie the Eagle

Ros Hull

The story of Eddie Edwards, the notoriously tenacious British underdog ski jumper who charmed the world at the 1988 Winter Olympics. IMDb

There are quite a few enjoyable movies out at the moment – Zootopia and Deadpool couldn’t be more different to one another but I loved them both. I hear nothing but good things about Jungle Book and I enjoyed The Huntsman more than I thought I would.

However if, like me, you love a story about a hero you have these options: waste your money on Batman V Superman (so much unnecessarily brutal action and angst) OR wait until Thursday for Civil War (it better be good or my love affair with superheroes may be at an end).

OR kick back, enjoy a choc top and fall in love with Eddie Edwards.

What a contrast, what a paradox!

This is a classic feel-good/underdog/sporting movie but there is nothing classic about the hero – ‘average’ is the kindest thing that can be said about Eddie. It is based on a character so real Hugh Jackman used to slide down the shed roof pretending to be him but the filmmakers admit it is only 10% true. It could easily have slid into the maudlin story of an outsider but, being a British film, it is played for laughs.

Which doesn’t make the touching moments any less effective, rather these are strategically paced to pull the audience up short and remind them of just how tough this hero’s journey has been.

Having seen both this and Batman V Superman in the one weekend, it is hard not to compare the films – Eddie keeps getting kicked down by life … but then dusts himself off and tries again…and again, and again. Whilst two demi-gods (who used to be heroes, once upon a comic) pout about daddy issues and whether either of them is allowed to play god, instead of just looking like one.

By the way, Taron Egerton is also genetically blessed (so much so that even in my advanced years I can’t help but notice) but he is utterly convincing as Eddie – innocent, unaware, a non-sporty sportsman who is both ordinary and extraordinary. A very nice bit of physical acting for someone who is really still just breaking into movies.

As I noted above – the truth is played with fast and loose in Eddie the Eagle – there are incorrect locations, completely invented characters and a lot of poetic license. The real Eddie was apparently warned but watched it anyway…and came out of the theatre in tears, declaring he loved the movie.

I don’t think sticking to the truth would have worked in portraying the essence of Eddie. His story was unbelievable at the time it happened – a plasterer who made the Olympic team and then, even when things didn’t go as planned, was so overjoyed at his accomplishment that the whole world cheered for him. Even utter couch potatoes like me knew his name.

So I think he deserves a classic hero’s tale like this film because, with the serious business that sport has become, we may never see his like again.

Roslyn saw this film as a guest of Limelight Cinemas, Tuggeranong.

Ros Hull

Ros saw Star Wars and immediately wanted to fly the Millenium Falcon. Unable to do that she became a Jill-of-all-trades as her army husband whirled her around the world – and back to Canberra 10 years ago. She has worked in public programs and museum education ever since. She gained an MA in writing whilst getting two daughters through high school - both are now at university and undeniably fabulous (according to her). She can worry as an Olympic sport so she sees lots of movies instead. More about the Author

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