Annie Lindenberg ’19 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
Eddie the Eagle is based on the true story of British skier Michael “Eddie” Edwards (Taron Egerton) who, after being cut from the Olympic ski team, tries his hand at ski jumping in hopes of achieving his dream of being an Olympian. Armed with only his ambition and perseverance, Eddie travels to Germany where he meets Bronson Peary (Hugh Jackman), a snowplow driver who once excelled in ski jumping himself. After some coercing, Peary agrees to help train Edwards all the way to the 1988 Winter Olympics, despite all the people in his way trying their hardest to keep him from it.
The movie opens as it gives the backstory of young Eddie and how his dreams of being an Olympian lead him to skiing. Everything about the movie at its inception is aiming for quirky. From the bright colors to the cutesy, comedic transitions and unique shots, the movie tries desperately to be something it doesn’t quite hit, and all the way up until Jackman’s appearance, though guided by Egerton’s precise acting and endearing character, the movie hasn’t hit its stride.
As soon as Jackman is on screen the movie begins to slide into something its much better. The quirkiness surely adds something to the film, but it isn’t the main event. Eddie’s inspirational underdog tale is what really gets the movie rolling. The first time Jackman and Egerton appear together it’s like two puzzle pieces clicking in place, the movie gaining a spark it desperately needed. The film finds itself when Jackman enters, bringing a whole lot of heart with him, and from this point on, it no longer feels like it is grasping for straws.
Eddie the Eagle may be cliche, but it’s aware of it. It plays on its own tropes with ease, utilizing these stereotypes to its advantage. There are a lot of aspects of this movie which would feel tired and repetitive if it weren’t for the immense sincerity in Egerton and Jackman’s performances. Egerton is able to play the intricacies and eccentricities of Eddie with such honesty it’s impossible not to root for him, and Jackman hits the comedic and dramatic moments both with a truthfulness that pulls you straight into the story, far more invested than you could have anticipated when first entering.
While at first the more dramatic moments seem to fall flat, as the movie progresses it slowly adapts, the dramatic moments feeling powerful and unquestionable. Comedy plays a heavy roll from the beginning, and while there are a few moments where it feels forced, for the most part once the movie hits its sweet spot, it balances comedy and drama with ease. The two come together to form a cohesive story it’s impossible to not fall into, beaming with pride as you come out the other side.
Eddie the Eagle may not be the most perfectly crafted story, it may not be revolutionary, but it pulls at heartstrings and, at its essence, is a hell of a fun watch. With honest acting, quirky comedy, and something undeniably endearing, Eddie the Eagle will soar straight into your heart.
Overall Grade: B+
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