Eddie the Eagle

         by Bobby Blakey

Some of the greatest stories around are the true life inspirations of others accomplishments. We have all heard of the varying stories of people that trained and fought their way to Olympic Gold, but none are quite like that of Eddie Edwards. The latest, Eddie the Eagle brings his story to life and features a great cast including Taron Egerton, Hugh Jackman and Christopher Walken, but does it have what it takes to bring home the win or will it miss the landing all together?

Eddie the Eagle follows an unlikely but courageous British ski-jumper who never stopped believing in himself – even as an entire nation was counting him out. With the help of a rebellious and charismatic coach, he takes on the establishment and wins the hearts of sports fans around the world by making an improbable and historic showing at the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics. This is one of those stories that is so out there it is amazing that it actually happened. We all know about the insane training that athletes go through to earn their way into the Olympics, but things were a lot different during this time. Seeing how this played out is crazy enough, but the story of what he did to get there was just as fun. Unlike a lot of films like this it seemed to steer away from the heavy drama and instead looked to tell a story that closely mimicked the fun nature of Eddie himself. The story gives you just enough back story to Eddie to let you know his situation without bogging it down with unnecessary story allowing for all the focus to be on his ski jumping career. Taron Egerton who killed it in Kingsman, does a great job with Eddie both in the performance and in physical transformation. With only minimal change to his look it is almost hard to tell it is the same actor and he does a great job with the role. Jackman looks to be having a lot of fun in the role bringing everything this character needs to the table.

For this film to really work it needed more than just the actors, it also had to have the lush visuals of the winter Olympic locations and believable moments involving the jumps. Visually the film delivers giving you the feel of the powdered white snow that engulfs the stage where he makes history, while also conveying the varying heights at which he jumps from. There are a couple of moments where you can kind of see the CGI in place, but it is so rare you can kind of ignore it. The shots of him crashing are cringe worthy at times and perfectly allow the viewer to feel and understand the danger of what is at stake every time he jumps. Where the film steps away from pulling at your heart strings or trying to force inspiration down the viewers throats it allows you to enjoy his journey and get inspiration from his dedication just from seeing his passion to succeed.

This is one of those great little films that packs a lot into the film without making it feel like it was only to give you a message. The humor isn’t forced and instead plays up like just a part of his life. Eddie is such a likeable character that you cannot help but root for the guy in everything he does. There one aspect where it gets into the realm of possibly bringing some waterworks is from his family and while a lot may already know his story and there are some pretty predictable directions still delivers. This is one of those films that is not only great for the whole family, with the exception of one discussion, and will serve as a great inspiration showcasing anything is possible.

In addition to the film this release includes numerous special features including a gallery and featurettes that take you behind the film and real life story of Eddie Edwards. Strap on your skies and prepare to jump with Eddie the Eagle available now on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.

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