Saturday, July 30, 2016

Eddie the Eagle

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion (or other commenters), that's fine. To each their own. These reviews are not meant to be statements of facts or endorsements, I am just sharing my opinions and my perspective when watching the film and is not meant to reflect how these films should be viewed. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 0-5. 0, of course, being unwatchable. 1, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being great and 5, being epic! And if you enjoy these reviews feel free to share them and follow the blog or follow me on Twitter (@RevRonster) for links to my reviews and the occasional live-Tweet session of the movie I'm watching! I was a tad disappointed to find out this wasn't a film about a Eagle-man named Eddie or even just a regular eagle that is named Eddie.

Eddie the Eagle – 4 out of 5

When it’s summer, I find every excuse to stay indoors and not be active or do anything remotely similar to exercise or sports because it’s hot outside and when it’s winter I find even more reasons to stay inside and not do anything that could potentially be considered some sort of sports-like activity because it’s cold outside.  In reality, these excuses are just me attempting to flee from the thing I fear and don’t understand:  Sports.  While I may not understand the appeal of organized contests of skill, I really do enjoy films that center on athletic prowess.  So, when I saw that there was a bio-pic about the first competitor to represent England in the Olympics for ski jumping called Eddie the Eagle and it starred Taron Egerton from Kingsman, I was all-in!

An awkward dude in glasses who has a dream...this speaks to me on a deep level.

Parents just don't understand, man.  Like the great
philosophers once said.
Eddie Edwards (Egerton) isn’t the most athletic man in the United Kingdom but he’s definitely one of the most dedicated.  His mother (Jo Hartley) supports his dreams of one day competing in the Olympics but his father (Keith Allen) wishes to see him get his head out of the clouds and have a more realistic dream.  Ultimately, Eddie decides he is going to be the ski jumping after he’s rejected by the officials and takes off to self-train in Germany.  Risking personal injury, Eddie ends up meeting the man who takes care of the slopes; Bronson Peary (Hugh Jackman), who encourages Eddie to give up before he kills himself.  However, it seems that Peary is a former champion jumper who wasted his potential but Eddie’s heart encourages him to take the kid under his tutelage and get him to the 1988 Olympics.

"You can do it, bub!"

Play this for full effect.
Eddie the Eagle tells a very touching and endearing story that is just as capable of making you tear up as easily as it can make you laugh.  Hugh Jackman and Taron Egerton both give excellent performances and have great chemistry together as coach and student.  In fact, it does this stuff so well that it is really easy to overlook that this film takes A LOT of liberties with the story.  How many?  Well, for one, Hugh Jackman’s character was completely made up.  Ultimately, however, this type of thing never bothers me because I understand the need to tell a compelling story filled with heart, soul and drama and, often, real-life events just never have all the right elements and all the right amounts of them.  So this type of thing is easy for me to overlook.

Sometimes it just takes adding Hugh Jackman to great stories to make them even better.

Egerton can be a badass spy and a nerdy ski jumper...
this guy can do anything!
On the negative end, this film does have some issues with some questionable CGI.  It’s obvious that most of the ski jump crashes were crafted with digital effects and while none of them look horrendous and were bad enough to kill the film, they do stand out.  Finally, the cynical side of me fully realizes that this film is hitting all the obvious glory moments and cliché tropes that come with these type of stories but the production did do them well enough and the cast was great enough at their jobs that my more optimistic side fully embraced the formulaic and obvious nature of the plot and found the overall product to be inspirational and endearing.

My ankles are already having sympathy pain for the landing he's about to have.

I don’t think Eddie the Eagle will go down as one of those iconic sports films that will live in the annuals of filmmaking history but with a touching and charming story mixed with a great cast and some fantastic visuals and perfect music choices it makes the feature a perfect inspirational sports movie for the now and the kind that just feels right for the moment.

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