The Boy and I are probably in the minority, but we actually came out of this one thinking, “The first candidate for top 10.” Also, “No way was that a true story.” With Eddie The Eagle, what relatively new director Dexter Fletcher and really new writers Sean Macauley and Simon Kelton have done is use one of the the great moments from the ’88 Olympics as a springboard to tell a perfect underdog story.
That “perfect” cuts both ways, of course: It allows a (completely fictional) redemption subplot involving Hugh Jackman and Christopher Walken—how can you go wrong there?—but it does make for moments where you’re feeling suspicious, as if you were being manipulated—like the all-too-perfect rejection of Eddie by the chair of the British Olympic Committee as being the wrong sort of person, and by the other skiers’ nasty hazing.
But, of course, you are being manipulated. You went to the movies, right?
Taron Egerton (Kingsman: The Secret Service) is a rather better looking than Eddie, though he does a good impression. Hugh Jackman has kinda been doing the “washed-up bitter has-been” thing since he put on the adamantine fingernails, and he’s quite good at it. Jo Hartley (“Not Safe For Work”) plays supportive mum, while Keith Allen (The Others, De-Lovely) plays recalcitrant father who often has to clean up after little Eddie’s disastrous Olympic sports training. (In a nice bit that’s also fictitious, I think, they have Eddie as a kid trying out all the summer sports first. Almost shamelessly, they have him in a leg brace while he’s doing it.)
Anyway, it made us laugh. It made us cheer. We were rooting for everyone, except the jerky head of the British Olympic Committee. (And isn’t that a lovely conceit? The worst problem with the BOC is that they’re a bit snobby, not that they’re thoroughly corrupt top-to-bottom, like all Olympic committees. Or do I presume to much?)
This is just one of those times I don’t have a ton to say about a film. It’s a lively, funny, heart-warming fantasy for the whole family. I also liked the score, by Matthew Margeson, who is usually credited as “additional music by” but landed himself a full movie on this one. So good for him.
Nothing revolutionary here, and not much that’s actually true, but fun and, as I said, a practically perfect example of the genre. If you like the sports movie, you’ll like this.