Review: 'Eddie the Eagle' fails to stick the landing


EDDIE THE EAGLE: 2 STARS

"Eddie the Eagle" is not a feel-good movie. Like Eddie, the English skier whose ambitions to compete in the Olympics made him a star, the film sets its sights high.

See Full Article

It's not content to simply be a feel good film, it's aspiring to be a feel GREAT movie.

When we first meet Eddie it's 1973 and he's a cute English kid with leg braces and a dream of entering the Olympics. Unfortunately his bad knees prevent him from taking part in most of the tradition sports so he wants to use his skill at holding his breath to win the gold.

Cut to his teen years. The braces are gone and he home trains himself in pole-vault and (not-so) long jumps in hopes of taking a shot at the Summer Olympics. His father (Tim McInnerny) isn't as hopeful.

"You'll never be Olympic material," he says.

Bloodied but unbowed, the now twenty-two year old Eddie (Taron Egerton) switches his focus to winter sports, specifically ski jumping. With no facilities available in England he heads to Germany to train. Trouble is, while he has spirit, he has no trainer or knowledge of the sport. "How do you land?' he wonders after one disastrous jump.

Eddie the Eagle film review

After a rough start—cue the wipe out montage—he meets Bronson Peary (Hugh Jackman), once an Olympic champion, now a drunk who maintains the jumps. Peary doesn't think Eddie has a shot, but the young man's enthusiasm wears him down and soon he is training Eddie for the 1988 Winter Games in Calgary. Ski jumping, he says, "is not just a sport, it's an art. It's spiritual."

What Eddie lacks in technical skill he makes up for in determination. Because the Olympic rules hadn't changed in 52 years since the last British ski jumper competed in the games, all Eddie has to do, basically, is show up and he'll be guaranteed a spot in Calgary. First, however, he has to learn to jump without breaking every bone in his body.

Like Kendall Jenner or a YouTube cat video "Eddie the Eagle" is unashamed to flaunt its cuteness to appeal to viewers. Egerton, best known for his swaggerific role in "Kingsman: The Secret Service," hands in a performance that makes Benny Hill look nuanced. With thick, ill-fitting glasses, he's all doe eyes and determination, a stiff-upper-lipper who wants to be part of the Olympics to prove everyone who told him he wasn't good enough wrong. It's an underdog story of such epic proportions it makes "The Bad News Bears" and all other underdogs look jaded by comparison.

The movie's tagline is, "Two underdogs, one dream," so be assured, it doubles down on the long shot vibe. Jackman's Peary is a man who once had it all, lost it and knows what it is like to be written off by everyone. He and Eddie are two peas in a pod and their dual 'doing your best is the greatest reward' message is the movie's lesson. Nothing more, nothing less.

Eddie the Eagle review

"Eddie the Eagle" is not an ambitious movie. It sets out to do one thing—make Eddie an underdog for the ages—but I couldn't help but think of the words of the founder of the International Olympic Committee, Pierre de Coubertin.

"It's not the triumph," he said. "It's the struggle."

The film may triumph in that its modest goals are achieved but the struggle to tell a truly interesting story devoid of manipulation was too much for director Dexter Fletcher. "Eddie The Eagle" lands with a bit of a thud.



Advertisements

Latest Entertainment News

  • Queens of the Stone Age singer apologizes for concert kick

    Entertainment CTV News
    Thank you everyone that has reached out with supportive messages. A small update, as I'm being flooded with questions: My neck is a sore, my eyebrow bruised and I'm a bit nauseous. The doctor released me early in the morning. Source
  • 'The Florida Project' selected best picture by Toronto Film Critics Association

    Entertainment CTV News
    TORONTO -- The Toronto Film Critics Association has selected "The Florida Project" as best picture in its awards announced on Sunday. Sean Baker's drama is about kids growing up in a welfare motel in the shadow of Disney World. Source
  • After #MeToo, will this year's Golden Globe nominations send a message to Hollywood?

    Entertainment CBC News
    They always set the stage for the rest of awards season but this year the Golden Globe nominations are about much more than just the screen itself. With the sexual harassment scandal unfolding daily, the climate in Hollywood might not only affect who shines through, but also who's left out. Source
  • Will this year's Golden Globe nominations send a message to Hollywood?

    Entertainment CBC News
    They always set the stage for the rest of awards season but this year the Golden Globe nominations are about much more than just the screen itself. With the sexual harassment scandal unfolding daily, the climate in Hollywood might not only affect who shines through, but also who's left out. Source
  • Jane Fonda raises US$1.3 million at 80th birthday fundraiser

    Entertainment CTV News
    ATLANTA -- Jane Fonda used her 80th birthday celebration to raise US$1.3 million for her foundation. The two-time Oscar-winner held the "Eight Decades of Jane" fundraiser at an upscale hotel Saturday night. The event recognized Fonda's life achievements along with her foundation, Georgia Campaign for Adolescent Power & Potential, which she created in 1995. Source
  • 'Coco' tops box office again before 'Star Wars' hits

    Entertainment CTV News
    LOS ANGELES -- Disney and Pixar's "Coco" has topped the box office for a third time on a quiet, pre "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" weekend in theatres. Disney estimates Sunday that "Coco" added US$18.3 million, bringing its domestic total to $135.5 million. Source
  • 'Coco' enjoys one more box office win ahead of 'Star Wars'

    Entertainment CTV News
    LOS ANGELES -- The animated family film "Coco" has topped the box office for a third time on a quiet, pre "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" weekend in theatres. Disney estimated Sunday that "Coco" added $18.3 million, which would bring its domestic total to $135.5 million. Source
  • Celebrity publicist Max Clifford dead at 74 while in jail

    Entertainment CBC News
    Disgraced celebrity publicist Max Clifford, a confidant to the stars who fell from grace amid Britain's investigation of past sexual abuse, died Sunday after collapsing in prison. He was 74. Once one of the most powerful figures in British entertainment, Clifford was convicted in 2014 of eight counts of indecent assault stemming from attacks on teenagers dating back more than 40 years. Source
  • Prince William, Prince Harry commission Diana statue for palace grounds

    Entertainment CBC News
    Kensington Palace says Prince William and Prince Harry have chosen sculptor Ian Rank-Broadley to create a statue of their mother, Princess Diana, to mark the 20th anniversary of her death. Rank-Broadley, whose image of Queen Elizabeth II has appeared on British coins since 1998, will complete the work by 2019. Source
  • Poet Robert Frost's original Christmas cards on display

    Entertainment CTV News
    MIDDLEBURY, Vt. -- For the first time in more than half a century, a series of Christmas cards and booklets that feature poems by Robert Frost, the poet known for his gritty images of rural New England life, are on display at Vermont's Middlebury College. Source