Movie Review: Eddie the Eagle

I love sports movies where you eventually find yourself rooting for the main person or team to win; not just because they are a good person and/or team, but because they've gone through so much throughout the film, too. Eddie the Eagle focuses on a unique guy, Eddie Edwards, who desires to be Great Britain's first ski jumper to make it to the Olympics, and he's such a sweet and dorky guy that you can't help but to root for him, even early on in the movie.

Eddie (Taron Egerton) has known from very early in life that he wants to attend the Olympics. He starts taking ski lessons, and eventually, by the time he's in his 20s, he's very good; however, he's also a bit awkward, and he's told by the British Olympic Committee that he will never represent Britain in skiing. His Olympic dreams are dashed, or so he thinks - until he finds out about a different sport, called ski jumping, for which a Great Brit hasn't attended the Olympics for since 1929. Eddie goes to Germany to try to practice ski jumping, since it's both a hard and a dangerous sport, and eventually meets former Olympic ski jumper Bronson Peary (Hugh Jackman), who reluctantly agrees to be his coach.

The whole movie, I was thinking to myself "Is that ... ? No. That can't be him ... but is it?" and it indeed was - Taron Egerton, who plays Eddie, was the suave James Bond-esque agent from Kingsman: The Secret Service, which I never would have guessed except I saw a tagline for the film and it said the two movies share some of the same producers. In Eddie the Eagle, Egerton is the complete opposite of his Kingsman character - his hair sticks straight up, he's garbed in bright and colorful '80s clothes, and he wears dorky Coke-bottle glasses; it's a complete transformation, yet I didn't hesitate to buy it. Hugh Jackman is also good here, as a former ski jumper who competed in the Olympics, and Christopher Walken has a brief cameo role as well.

Yes, see this film. It's based on a true story, although I've heard that Hollywood definitely took liberties with the movie version, and the actual Eddie is only 52 years old this year. The camera work was interesting here too - you get a lot of point-of-view shots, which was great, and you worry for Eddie as much as you cheer for him, because ski jumping is so dangerous; the slopes ranged from 15m to 90m, and Jackman's character mentions at one point that you're likely to be seriously injured or killed from the 70 or 90m jumps if you try to attempt them but don't know what you're doing. I ended up really liking this movie and wasn't sure if I would or not going into it, because I know nothing about ski jumping; however, it's a film that I'd recommend to anyone who likes inspirational stories and/or sports movies.

Eddie the Eagle is in theaters today, February 26th, and is rated PG-13 with a runtime of 105 minutes. 4 stars out of 5.

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