Everyone seems to be raving about Eddie The Eagle. it’s been getting incredibly high ratings and people are calling it the best British film and best British comedy in a long time. After putting it off for a couple of days, I finally went and watched it. Is it one of the best British films?
Eddie The Eagle stars Taron Edgerton. Hugh Jackman, Keith Allen, Jo Hartley and Tim McInnerny and is directed by Dexter Fletcher. The film follows the true story of Eddie Edwards, A British ski jumper, who entered the Winter Olympics despite coming last at every stage.
The story of Eddie Edwards is a proper underdog story. A man who proved everyone wrong and defied all the odds and went to the Olympics, not to win, but just to take part. The film dutifully recreates his story, spanning several years of his life and makes the film an all-round feel-good movie. If that’s all you really want from your film, a good old underdog story, then Eddie The Eagle is a fine choice. I’m not sure how much of the story is fabricated, but it does have some underdog sport film clichés, but you can easily overlook these. It fits perfectly into director Dexter Fletcher’s other films, such as Sunshine On Leith, he aims to make a film that will leave the audience feeling happy by the end.
The film has been billed as a comedy and the trailer was incredibly funny. Sadly most of the best jokes are given away in the trailer. There are some good moments that weren’t shown, including an extended sequence by Hugh Jackman as Eddie’s trainer Bronson describing ski jumping in comparison to spending a passionate night with film actress Bo Derek mainly from how absurd it gets. The training montage is also another good moment as the duo have some unorthodox methods as to how to prepare Eddie for the bigger jumps. Jackman and Edgerton have a good chemistry and helps to keep the film together when the jokes don’t appear. There is even a sly joke at Cool Runnings, the story of the Jamaican bobsled team who competed at the same Winter Olympics, despite Cool Runnings being the better film.
The ski jumps are created very well and are a highlight of the film. For every jump we get a point-of-view shot going down the slope, a reaction shot of the people on the ground and then a shot of the skier flying through the air, usually in slow motion so we can see it in all its glory. It’s very good and entertaining to watch, as well as been shot and edited to make them as exciting as possible. The jumpers should be getting billing next to Edgerton and Jackman, mainly due to them having to throw themselves down the hill and crash to show Eddie’s change from failure to triumph. Over and over again we see them crash and fall from the forty metre slope, it deserves praise that they are willing to be grievously injured for the film.
In the end, Eddie the Eagle is just alright. The good jokes are a bit few and far between and even at 1 hour 45 it feels a bit too overlong. Billy Elliot does the British underdog film better and Cool Runnings does the Olympic underdog story better as well. If you’re wanting to go to the cinema, pick Zootropolis instead.
Score: 5/10 Doesn’t soar as far as it could.