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Eddie the Eagle Review

By Matthew Passantino

"Eddie" Flies But Never Soars

A plucky underdog dares to defy expectations and achieve his dreams of competing in the Olympics. That's the logline for "Eddie the Eagle" and so many movies of its kind that came before it.

"Eddie the Eagle" chronicles the path to the Olympics for Eddie Edwards (Taron Egerton). Ever since he was a young boy, Eddie loved skiing and successfully competed in some local competitions. Even with walls and shelves filled with recognitions, Eddie would never be ready to fulfill his aspirations of competing in the Olympic games. His mother (Jo Hartley) blindly supports him, as most mothers do, while his father (Keith Allen) urges him to come to work with him.

Eddie doesn't want to settle for anything less than achieving his dreams. He refuses to. His goals shift from skiing to ski jumping and after seeing one tape of competitive ski jumping, he decides he is going to do this in the Olympics. With his mothers unwavering support and his father's resentment, Eddie heads off to start practicing.


He starts off on the 40-meter hill and lands that one just fine. In his eyes, he's ready for the 70-meter. He meets Bronson Peary (Hugh Jackman), a swaggering drunk who has a bit of experience in the field of ski jumping. Eddie begs and pleads with Peary to train him for the Olympics but, just like anyone else, he thinks Eddie is ridiculous. Eddie is persistent and it doesn't take long for Peary to realize that.

All of the signs point to why Eddie should not pursue his ski jumping dream. Eddie ignores those signs. He is determined and passionate about ski jumping and doesn't mind giving a middle finger to the man. Egerton - who we were introduced to last year with "Kingsman: The Secret Service" - is charming as Eddie. The screenplay by Sean Macaulay and Simon Kelton doesn't add a great deal of dimension to Eddie and we don't get to know much about him outside of his love for ski jumping. Even so, Egerton succeeds in carrying the entirely predictable story.

Egerton and Jackman have a playful patter with each other but Jackman's character is also thinly drawn. He is presented as this total macho guy when he is simply a mess. Always donning shades and never wearing a jacket (he calls his flask filled with liquor his jacket), Peary is a walking cliché.

"Eddie the Eagle" is shameless in how inspiring it wants to be and how much it adheres to the underdog formula. From the practice montages to the music that dictates how we should feel and then swells at climatic moments, "Eddie the Eagle" isn't interested in taking any chances as a movie. It's cheesy from start to finish.

If you don't go to the movies often and you are looking for a pleasant night out, you will get caught up in "Eddie the Eagle". If you see far too many movies, like myself, and have become cynical, your instinct will be to fight the urge to give into the goofy charm of this movie. I tried rolling my eyes - and sometimes it was warranted - but I ultimately succumbed.

What did you think?

Movie title Eddie the Eagle
Release year 2016
MPAA Rating PG-13
Our rating
Summary Unabashedly formulaic and corny but star Taron Egerton will win you over.
View all articles by Matthew Passantino
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