EDDIE THE EAGLE
Genre: Sports Dramedy
Running Time: 102 mins.
Premise: Eddie Edwards (Taron Egerton) has always wanted to be an Olympian, much to his parents' eternal bemusement (Mom) and chagrin (Dad). After trying on several ill-fitting sports, Eddie stumbles onto ski jumping after learning that Britain has not fielded an Olympic team for over 50 years. With the help of a grizzled, alcoholic mentor (Hugh Jackman), he trains for the '88 Olympics in the hopes of finally achieving his dream.
Behind-the-Scenes: Based on a true story. Matthew Vaughn produced the film, which might explain Egerton's casting. The two previously worked together in last year's Kingsman: The Secret Service.
The Good: Egerton and Jackman are both wonderful in their roles, filling the screen with ample charisma and chemistry. The movie is a delight from beginning to end, mixing comedy and emotional beats with relative ease. The '80s inflected score - seemingly played right off a Casio keyboard - is great too and effectively transports audiences back to 1988. The ski jump footage is thrilling. If ever there were such a thing as a "feel good" movie, this is it.
The Bad: It's a sports movie about an underdog, so it plays by every cliche in the book. Those looking for dark 'n gritty fare, or originality, aren't going to find it here.
Should You See It?: Yes. There's a reason those sports cliches exist. When done well, the results can be hugely entertaining. On the whole, this is inspiring fare that the whole family can enjoy.
Star Rating: **** out of 5 stars.
Better Than: The Cutting Edge, Blades of Steel, Cool Runnings
Worse Than: Rudy, Hoosiers
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