REVIEW: Eddie The Eagle (2016)

Eddie The Eagle - Poster
Release Poster – 20th Century Fox / Lionsgate

The following is a review of Eddie The Eagle, produced by Matthew Vaughn.

Based on a true story, Eddie The Eagle follows the famous titular Olympian, Michael ‘Eddie’ Edwards (played by Taron Egerton), and shows us exactly how he became an Olympic Ski Jumper. Eddie The Eagle is an excellent sports biopic, and while it is very clichéd and safe, Taron Egerton and Hugh Jackman elevate the story to a whole new level. 

I really loved Eddie The Eagle, and I left the theater in a great mood. It is a fun and inspiring little sports drama, but it is basically what you would expect. It is very well-executed, though, and the film succeeds in large part due to the two lead actors, Taron Egerton and Hugh Jackman.

Hugh Jackman doesn’t ‘push the envelope’, as it were. His demeanor isn’t all that different from Logan in the X-Men films or what I remember from his character in Real Steel. He drinks, he smokes, and he is regretful. This role was pretty much perfect for Hugh Jackman, and, predictably, he knocks it out of the park. He delivered a solid performance.

One of my favorite new actors is Taron Egerton. He was wonderful as ‘Eggsy’ in Matthew Vaughn’s Kingsman: The Secret Service, and I really wanted to see if he could bring it as Eddie Edwards in a biopic. I am happy to say that Taron Egerton is completely unrecognizable as Eddie, and that he has once again shown me that he can be the next big thing. I am so excited to see this young actor develop his acting talent for years to come. Rest assured that he doesn’t make a single wrong move in Eddie The Eagle.

I loved Eddie The Eagle much more than I thought I would, but if I were to nitpick a bit, then I’d say that my main problem with the film is that I didn’t connect with the B-story of the film. The B-story is focused on the origins of Hugh Jackman’s character, Bronson Peary. They tried to make Peary’s past an important part of the finale of the film, but I thought this inclusion could have been handled in a smoother way.

When I got home from the theater I discovered that everything involving Bronson Peary was completely made up. I opened the review by stating that it was based on a true story, because that is what I was told going in. But, as can be seen on the poster above, it is instead only inspired by the true story of ‘Eddie The Eagle’. So, essentially, my least favorite part of the film seems to have been completely made up, and that does make me question if they only made Bronson Peary so important to fit with Hugh Jackman’s level of stardom.

All in all, however, Eddie The Eagle is a lovely sports drama, with a good message at its core, and a lot of heart. Sure, you’ve seen stories like this one before, and it is a rather safe, clichéd sports film. But I loved seeing Jackman and Egerton live and breathe as these characters, and it was everything it possibly could have been – even if major parts of it was fictional. It may have been safe, but the film was much more effective than I thought it would be. Eddie The Eagle, as a film, reached its full potential.

8 out of 10

– I’m Jeffrey Rex