From the very childhood Eddie Edwards (Taron Egerton) was dreaming about participating in the Olympic Games. He has tried multiple kinds of sports and has broken many bones until he found his own way to get to the Olympics through skiing. When Eddie was a grown up, his ski performance and results were good enough for making it into the national team. But the Olympic officials thought that overweight “four eyes” with a silly smile who comes from the working family doesn’t meet the “high standard of British sport”, and Edwards was not even allowed to prepare for the Winter Games in Calgary. Not giving up on high hopes, the athlete has decided to master the kind of sport where the competition would be much lower in the UK. And he has chosen ski jumping realizing that mastering this one takes many years and that it is quite possible to get into the hospital or even morgue after just one unsuccessful landing. During the preparation to the Games, real Eddie Edwards was living in the psychiatric clinic – the room in the hospital was cheaper than a hotel room. Eddie was training in Finland because there were no ski jumping training facilities within the UK.
Eddie “the Eagle” was the best ski jumper in Great Britain (because no one in the country was doing this sport); he was landing on his feet, not his head, which is already an accomplishment for the jump from the 90 meter high hill. He was a man of incredible perseverance. Only the real hero could master new sport having neither any inborn talent in it nor any financial support whatsoever. Eddie, a provincial plasterer, didn’t even have money on new equipment; he had to put on six pair of socks at a time because his ski boots were second-hand wrong size footwear.
For the sporting establishment Eddie was an eyesore and after his participation in Calgary Games, Olympic rules were tightened to no longer allow people like him to compete in the games of such caliber. Fans, however, admired Edwards not only because he was a “heroic loser” but because the “four eyes” with mustache, jagged teeth and a silly smile looked like a real Briton, not as unattainable sports god. Eddie “the Eagle” doesn’t just make it to the Olympics but earns the love of journalists and spectators around the world. And this part of the picture with its entire story is not a fantasy but a true story.
Despite the abundance of jokes and gags, the movie doesn’t make fun of the hero. The film is made to admire him. Multiple scenes vividly demonstrate how dangerous ski jumping is tirelessly reminding that an athlete with so little experience has to do the first steps in the sport rather than risk his life for the sake of participation in the Olympics. But Edwards is stubborn and reckless (he hesitates only in a couple of scenes). Again and again he climbs up a high hill to make his dream come true and confound all those who laugh at him – both characters in the movie (other athletes, Olympic officials ...) and those who watch it on a big screen. Since childhood, Eddie behaves like a battering ram, hitting through all the obstacles on the way to the Olympics without any fear of injuries. And this movie about him becomes an inspirational picture of what can be achieved through perseverance and hard work.
Speaking of Egerton. Eddie is his second famous role after Eggsy in “Kingsman: The Secret Service” thriller; Welsh actor reincarnated so radically in the Eddie “the Eagle” that it is hard to believe that this was the same guy we saw two years ago. Of course, to a large extent it is the result of a brilliant work of make-up artists and costume designers. But Eggsy and Eddie are quite different not only in appearance but also in gestures, manner of speech, etc. We must admit the change of the image was quite successful: he wears strange glasses with thick lenses, often frowns and sometimes it even seems as if he is suffering from a mild form of paralysis. If Egerton continues playing such complex and bright kind of roles, he may one day become the British superstar.
Eventually, Eddie the Eagle movie is pretty much standard comic-pathetic sports film. If we compare the scenario with the real Edwards’ story, it will be easy to spot how often the screenplay relies on templates and clichés taken from other alike films, instead of the real hero's life. For example, Bronson Peary is totally fictional character (in real life Eddie had a few temporary coaches; and basically he did it all by himself most of the time). But all of the clichés in the film are served in such a manner that they make their way through the cynicism of the audience and tend to entertain, not irritate. Those who have immunity to spiritualized pathos movies can watch Eddie the Eagle just like a fun movie about a bizarre athlete. So the only disappointed people would be those who cannot stand movies without love stories. Eddie’s affair is with the Olympics, not with a girl.
We would recommend this film to all those who have lost faith in themselves or those who miss the big wins. The movie is very motivating and helps us understand that our whole life is a struggle.