He slips, he jumps, but does he soar?

This is not a 99c movie. I have one more queued to watch and it is Macbeth. This was a movie I paid full price for and into which I went with my expectations set low.

I saw the trailer for Eddie the Eagle at the cinema and the trailer made the film look very good. Well the trailer made the film look like a laugh-a-minute feel good movie about the struggles of an underdog making it through sheer determination to the Olympics.

The film is based on the true story of ‘Eddie the Eagle’ Edwards as he was dubbed by the press at the time and I remember him competing, so there were no spoilers for me. I remember getting caught up in the intoxicating excitement of having an improbable situation of an English sportsman doing the ski jump at the Olympics and the apparent impossibility of the task that lay ahead of him.

I also remember looking him up many many years later and being surprised at how seriously Eddie took himself. The press had painted him as a sort of have-a-go-hero, a true British underdog (we love an underdog in England) and although I guess no one ever expected him to win, everyone wants to believe in the miracle story of someone beating every odd to triumph.

The film pretty much followed a predicable path of Eddie failing over and again but never losing sight of his dream. Finally he manages to enlist the help of a drunk ex-Olympian to help him with his coaching to circumvent the rules that the British Olympic Committee have established to try and block him getting into the event.

I am not sure how much of that story is true,  but I feel that Taron Egerton, who played him, probably got a little close to the truth because to be brutally honest, Eddie is a hard character to love. You can admire his tenacity, you can salute his dreams, but actually I found part of me saying, ‘Go back to work, Eddie. You are never going to be able to seriously compete at Olympic level and you can not expect your dad to keep bailing you out.’

Hugh Jackman was in it and he was having a great time. He played the drunken ex Olympian who becomes Eddie’s coach and other than a rather odd sub plot crow barred in (again not sure if this was based on truth or not).

Some of the bits are nicely done, many are predicable. Nationalities are stereotyped and it is certainly not the romp that the trailer suggests it will be but to give the film its credit, unlike Eddie, it does pull off a winner at the end and succeed in making you feel impossibly happy about someone failing.


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