Eddie the Eagle is a biopic about British ski jumper Michael “Eddie” Edwards, nicknamed by the media as “Eddie the Eagle” during the 1988 Winter Olympics. It follows how Eddie, though he lacked the athleticism and talent, persevered to reach his ultimate dream of participating in the Olympics despite the others’ oppositions and lack of funding.
When I saw the trailer for Eddie the Eagle, I found it bland and unimposing. I don’t think it was going to be a good, enjoyable movie. Watching it, however, I was proven wrong. It isn’t great and it’s clichéd, but it turned out being a feel-good and entertaining sports movie all in all. Think Cool Runnings. And, for the record, I loved Cool Runnings as a kid. By the way, fun fact: the Jamaican bobsled team of Cool Runnings competed in the same Winter Olympics that “Eddie the Eagle” participated him.
At the core, it follows a familiar underdog storyline. But it’s not tiresome; there are lessons and enjoyment to be had from it.
Taron Edgerton is amazing here. Not only did he uncannily portray Eddie, but he did so with the screen magnetism of a legit superstar. Between this and last year’s Kingsman, he’s definitely one of the most promising young actors working right now. Hugh Jackman also did a fine job as Bronson Peary, Eddie’s coach (a fictitious character created for this movie).
Lastly, and most notably, I find the movie’s theme pretty refreshing. It’s an embodiment quote of the founder of the modern Olympic Games, Pierre de Coubertin: “The important thing about the Olympic Games is not the winning but the taking part. The important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle.” Personally, I also subscribe to the philosophy that doing our best in something is much more important than the actual outcome. And, since we live in an age in which the predominant worldview is to coldly show disapproval to failure and treat winning as the only thing that matters, I deeply appreciate the message the movie went for.