Film Review: Eddie the Eagle


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Here is a review of the new film Eddie the Eagle submitted by a local resident. To read more of our reviews by local people click here.

‘EDDIE the EAGLE’ starring Taron Egerton and Hugh Jackmann


I enjoyed this movie a lot, I like films which are based on real events, about a person’s struggle against the odds, hopefully with a happy ending. Surely Eddie Edwards had the odds stacked against him – not very successful at school, a Plasterer’s only son learning his trade without much enthusiasm in a northern town. Physically clumsy and not good at making friends he retreats into a dream world – the Dream is to be an Olympic Skier.

Not a gifted athlete he tries skiing which in itself demands dedication, physical stamina and dexterity and through perseverance he becomes a fairly good Downhill racer. But it is a rich person’s sport and he is a working class outsider, Ed doesn’t mix well with the Jagermeister & Jaguar types on the nursery slopes. He is not selected for the British Olympic Ski Team for 1988.   Determined to compete in Calgary, Ed retrains for the Ski Jump, a totally different kettle of fish.

One recalls the classic Ski movie “DOWNHILL RACER” starring Robert Redford in his breakthrough movie of 1968, but Redford is a very different animal – hungry for Gold (medals) for nubile  chalet maids, and willing to walk over the bodies of crushed downhill rivals to seize the hollow crown. Eddie undergoes the same experiences Redford had of being an outsider, broke in a millionaire’s ski resort, falling painfully on his ass in training many times, having beer poured over him by rude Austrian ski aces not to mention the broken finger he will suffer (Redford breaks a leg).  Ed by contrast doesn’t drink alcohol although he is given a warm welcome by the fortyish Austrian landlady of the Ski resort tavern. Also, a washed up American Ski Champ (Hugh Jackmann) takes pity on him, respecting Ed’s guts, and trains him punitively to a standard where he can compete and (hopefully) walk away alive.

One of the highlights of the movie is actually seeing on a large screen the terrifying Ski Jump itself which you don’t really appreciate on TV. Cameras attached to the stunt actors allow you to see what it is like to hurl your fragile self down a steep runway and take off into sickening space then see the white landing slope rush up to meet you. No Thanks.

Ed takes part in the Ski Jump at Calgary coming last in both 70m and 90m however the TV audience in UK as well as the spectators in the arena admired his courage and he was wildly applauded.

The British Olympic Team however pretty well ostracised him as a publicity seeking amateur. I think this was unfair – he did have a Dream which was probably his one and only dream and no-one should begrudge making that dream come true.

Submitted by G.H./April 2016.

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