Eddie The Eagle is a classic British legend. A man who went to the Olympics and was a bit rubbish and off the back of that became a national hero. It taps into that British love of a trier, and you can bet that most people would think of him long before they got round to actually successful Olympians. It is strange then that it has taken this long for his story to reach the big screen.
Now that it is here, however, it has one hell of a team backing it up. Matthew Vaughn produces with Dexter Fletcher directing and Taron Egerton and Hugh Jackman starring. It’s an impressive group of men, and they have been tasked with bringing this real-life story to the masses.
Which they’ve done by, to put it simply, changing it a lot. This story obviously has a basis in fact, but the way that they get there is far from it. Jackman’s entire character, who coaches Eddie, is invented, and that’s just the tip of the fabrication going on here. However, it is hard to care. Because, in place of reality, they’ve crafted a feel-good story that would take the coldest of skiers hearts and thaw it out in its glow.
A big part of that is Egerton himself, who seems to have made a conscious decision to go as far away from Kingsman as he could. On paper, he seems far too natural a movie star to play such a clumsy and nerdy role, but he is remarkable in it. That swagger which he displays as Eggsy is nonexistent and even the way he holds himself speaks of a man who is filled with hope but whom the world seems determined to squash.
Which is what this film is about. It is the story of a man who was willing to do anything in order to achieve a dream and while there is no denying that it is a schmaltzy tale, it is kind of hard not to love it. If nothing else, it’s just fun. Will it go down in history as a great piece of innovative cinema? Of course not, but if you are feeling a bit down or have had a long, tough day, then taking a little flight with this particular eagle, could be exactly what you need.