Doubleback Review: Eddie The Eagle
What is it that makes us human? Why do we dare to dream? Why do we push ourselves for happiness and finding out what we can? If we only have one life to live, what pushes us to find out who we are? I have always found both styles of Olympics remarkable. I love watching it every four years because I love seeing the world come together, even its only for sixteen days for some rightful competitions. I also love that these games are, mostly, made up of people who got into it for the love of the sport, they are there because they are the best they can be. Not necessarily doing it professionally. While its cool to watch a dream team play their sport, it feels like something more when somebody is there because they love and believe in a sport.
"Eddie The Eagle" tells the true story of Micheal "Eddie" Edwards. A British skier who in 1988 became the first competitor since 1929 to represent Great Britain in Olympic ski jumping. This wasn't a guy who trained all of his life, not initially. According to the movie, we see a sincere and heartwarming montage of a young Eddie Edwards growing up. He had a rough childhood getting hurt and going to the doctor, but he kept training. Training for what you ask? The answer is anything. Its unclear exactly what Edwards wanted to do, he just wanted to be an Olympian. He wanted to show off his British pride, represent his country, do some kind of sport. He just didn't know which sport, so he tried them all. Shattering his eye glasses to pieces at every turn. It was just by opportunity, luck and a seizing of the moment that he landed on ski jumping.
Early in the movie, an adult Eddie Edwards (Taron Egerton) makes his way out to Germany to get himself ready for the 1988 Olympics. He didn't train for ski jumping since he was young, at 22 years old, he had only just started. He often belittled by the teams that have been training for years. Eddie self-trains and he is eyed by a washed-out, alcoholic, snow groomer Bronson Peary (Hugh Jackman) who was once an Olympic hopeful himself. Peary after some thought, decides to help Edwards in his quest to the Olympics.
Its true that "Eddie The Eagle" is a feel-good movie. But "Eddie The Eagle" is very good at being a feel good movie. This isn't a movie forcing or even cheating its audience into a tear-jerking corner. Every emotion of this film is earned. It is lead by two powerful performances by both Taron Egerton and Hugh Jackman. When Egerton starred in "Kingsman: The Secret Service," he proved he could be a capable, young leading man. Now, with "Eddie The Eagle" he proves that "Kingsman" wasn't just some fluke. This guy has range, he has a longevity to his talent, and now I firmly believe he can do anything. Hugh Jackman has been the man for years, and this is just another masterful performance in an already impressive resume. Look for other great performances by Jim Broadbent and Christopher Walken. Directed by Dexter Fletcher, who may remember from HBO's "Band of Brothers," "Lock,Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels" and "Layer Cake," proves he's got definitive props behind the camera.
More than anything else, and what I certainly didn't expect is "Eddie The Eagle" feels like a game changer. Its a movie that demands you conquer your dreams, no matter how old you are, no matter how outdated the world says you are supposed to be. If you haven't fulfilled your dreams yet, get up and get going. You are never too old, and you are never too washed out. Remember, George Clooney didn't get into acting until well into his 40's. It never matters when your dreams come true. Because of this movie, I have worked harder and harder to expand my blogging brand, to amply my signal, to broaden my audience and increase traffic here. I love discussing movies and TV, I love communicating and I feel my voice deserves to be in the mix. I love this, I wouldn't be doing this for three years for no money if I didn't. Now I want to see if anything can come of it. This is what "Eddie The Eagle" can do.
FINAL GRADE: A