Eddie the Eagle Review
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The 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary is often remembered for its lovable underdogs, whose stories seem to make for the perfect inspirational sports movies. The wildly popular Jamaican bobsled team was the subject of Disney’s Cool Runnings in 1993. And now another underdog from Calgary is the subject of Eddie the Eagle.

Eddie the Eagle tells the true story of Britain’s Michael “Eddie” Edwards (Taron Egerton), a lovable misfit whose childhood dream was to become an Olympic athlete—despite his bad knees and leg brace. When he discovered downhill skiing, he seemed to have found his sport—but, despite his hard work, dedication, and success, he was told that he just wasn’t Olympic material. So, a year before the Calgary Olympics, he decided to switch to ski jumping, a sport that had no British team—and no qualification guidelines. And with some help from a disgraced former jumper (Hugh Jackman), he gradually went from laughingstock to Olympic hero.

This underdog story has all of the elements that audiences expect from the typical inspirational sports movie: the obstacles, the doubters, the unshakable determination. From the beginning, Eddie is the last person you’d expect to become an Olympian: the awkward little kid in a leg brace. While his mom (Jo Hartley) happily humors him, his disapproving dad (Keith Allen) tries to talk some sense into him—pushing him to pursue a career as a plasterer instead. And as he continues on his path, people make fun of him for what seems to be an impossible dream—yet he never gives up.

But this isn’t a serious sports drama. Eddie the Eagle is much kookier than the average sports story, with its quirky characters, its comic adventures, and its Hall and Oates training montage. It’s the story of an overconfident misfit and a washed-up drunk on an unlikely quest to prove everyone wrong. And there’s just something about the wackiness and utter improbability of it all that makes it enjoyable to watch.

Egerton, meanwhile, handles the role well. Though his silly facial expressions and general goofiness occasionally verge on annoying and overdone, it’s not hard to see why so many people fell in love with the character during the ‘88 Olympics. His energy, enthusiasm, and endless optimism are contagious—and he seems to tell audiences that if someone this awkward and bumbling can fight for his dreams, anyone can.

While it may not bring anything new or remarkable to the against-all-odds sports movie genre, Eddie the Eagle is still a likable comic biopic. After a long, hard day of work, this light and fluffy feel-good story is sure to leave you with a smile on your face.

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