I’m not a cynical man, but I went into the cinema not giving this film a prayer. I thought that I would have a terrible time, but instead I spent an hour and a half with a sweet film with more heart than many blockbusters with five times its budget.
From my understanding, Eddie the Eagle is the Hollywoodisation of Eddie Edwards’ [the eagle in the title] origin story. The facts may not be all there but the gist is. Personally, this guy wasn’t a household name with my family, but show me a picture and his face would ring a bell.
And the Eagle’s tale is as old as time – it is a story about an underdog. Damn it, it is a story about Great Britain – our nation’s stiff upper lip, our stubborn determination and our never-say-die attitude. I would guess that a lot of people who watch this film will relate to the base feelings that drive Eddie – wanting to prove people wrong and striving towards your dream.
This film completely caught me off guard. I was surprised how much emotion it conjured up in me. There is nothing new here in terms of the structure of an biographical movie, but it tugs at those heart strings as effectively as the best of them.
My theatre cheered at the right moments, we laughed on cue and I personally shed gangster drops (tears to the common man) on a few occasions. Again, that basic story of the underdog who proves people wrong is a simple, often used, but very powerful tool… and it got me.
Now, if you were being a spoil sport you would say that Taron Egerton and High Jackman hammed it up in this movie, but I’m willing to let the overacting go because 80 per cent of the time, it works. Egerton proves once again that he really is a star and is going to do massive things in the future. Jackman showed he can play a role other than Wolverine (although at times… nah, I’m not going there).
This film feels lean and straight to the point, like all great British films should be. A lot of credit has to go to Dexter Fletcher who seems incapable of making a bad film [seriously, check out Wild Bill]. The 70s/80s nostalgic tone walks that line between feeling Hollywood and real. Oh, and the soundtrack is pretty dope.
Seriously, this film is… well, like Eddie, it is a surprise and it is well worth your time.