Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Film Review No. 23 Eddie The Eagle (PG)

Strong Points:
Strong, uplifting message
Great performances all round
Some genuinely emotional moments
Can be watched without any knowledge of the person...
Great camera shots

Weak Points:
...but don't think you'll come away with a full character study
Clichéd to a point
Hugh Jackman's character felt odd
Some cringey moments

Some spoilers ahead:

In-depth Review:
I've got to admit, I didn't really know too much about Eddie 'The Eagle' Edwards going in to watch this film. I mean, I knew he was an Olympian and was quirky, to say the least, but not much else. I came away not knowing too much else either, but that's not the point of the film.

Starring Taron Egerton as the eponymous character (who does a spot-on impersonation by the way), we see Eddie get infused with the Olympic spirit from an early age, trying out many, many sports growing up, believing he can get to the Olympics. After quite a few disappointments, he is just about to give up when he finds out about the Winter Olympics and thinks, 'why not?'. More disappointments and obstacles follow, including from his father and the Olympic Committee but he finally makes it and wow did I have a smile on my face by the end.

To help Eddie on his journey to compete in the 1988 Winter Olympics is his fictional coach Bronson Peary, played by Hugh Jackman giving a performance I found... Odd. It might be the drunk nature of the character or the PGness of his portrayal but Bronson seemed to constantly swerve between personalities, never quite hitting one that fit. The ongoing subplot of his 'jacket' was nice though.

If a drunk ex-sportsman who was kicked out due to not following the rules feels clichéd, get ready for some more with a sports montage, slow-motion on the dramatic parts of the jump, a knowing look from coach to player and everyone suddenly getting on Eddie's side by the end. If you don't like clichés go and watch an arthouse film about worms then because this film also has charm knocked up to 11 and a likeability I can't quite place.

Eddie's enthusiasm and innocence are infectious, with his single dream of becoming an Olympian - we really are all rooting for him. However, there is one part of the film where Eddie has a chance to actually compete competitively (say that three times fast) in the Olympics and he throws it away, such is his drive to become an Olympian as soon as possible. While by the end of the film I was on his side again, this part really frustrated me and got me angry with the character, an emotion I didn't believe I would feel when watching a film where the characters learn to jump by imagining *ahem* they're going at it with their favourite celebrity.

The camera shots are well placed and edited to make the most of the naturally nauseating jumps. We start small with 15m (still made my heart lurch, to be honest with you) and ended with the frankly terrifying 90m, which when looking down, made me wish Eddie would quit and go home. He doesn't quit, goes through with it and doesn't break his neck, finishing at the grand old place of completely last, as happened in real life. But we don't care by this point, and neither do the characters because Eddie did something no-one thought possible - he flew.

Conclusion: no, this film didn't need to be made. No, this film won't win any awards. No, it isn't 100% factually correct. Should you still watch it? Most definitely yes, as you won't find a more uplifting film for a long time.

Rating: 68%

Thanks for reading, Satamer.

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