The 1988 Olympics certainly had its fair share of inspiring stories to tell. A certain Jamaican bobsledding team cemented themselves in the history books that year, and their story was immortalised in the crowd-pleasing 1993 comedy Cool Runnings. Now it’s bespectacled underdog skier Eddie “The Eagle” Edwards’ turn.
The actions that take place leading up to Eddie’s placement in the sport with little to no experience are unlikely to be repeated nowadays but this uplifting comedy is all about pleasing its audience with its plucky and determined spirit, and in that regard Eddie the Eagle is a sure-fire winner. Producer Matthew Vaughn clearly has a lot of faith in leading man Taron Egerton (this being their second collaboration following last year’s breakout hit film Kingsman: The Secret Service) and the young actor does his best to downplay his obvious good looks but he brings such sincerity and innocence to the role of Eddie that it only deems him more appealing.
Hugh Jackman, as a former Olympic ski jump champion who takes Eddie under his wing, is his usual charming self and there are neat cameos from the likes of Jim Broadbent (as an Olympic commentator) and Christopher Walken (as Jackman’s former coach) but it’s Egerton who owns the heart and soul of this simple but satisfactory story that may be emotionally manipulative but succeeds with its kind-natured mentality. A little more depth to the character of Eddie wouldn’t have hurt the film but Eddie the Eagle seems more intent on tugging at the heartstrings than delving into anything deep.
With a particularly catchy 1980’s inspired soundtrack as serviceable accompaniment, Eddie the Eagle is likely to be the top contender for the best feel-good movie event of 2016. Turn your brain off, have your heart in the right place, and prepare for all the feels possible with this seriously charming slice of British entertainment.