REVIEW: Eddie the Eagle

When you search for a movie review, you tend to look for a brief critique on the soundtrack and lighting and so on. But tough – I’m opening with how crappy Secret Santa is.

I don’t have a clue what to get distant co-workers for Christmas. Hell, I struggled with my own Mum when I was shopping earlier today. I mean, what is she even going to do with a kettle descaler? That’s of course a joke to throw her off the scent…

(It’s not. I genuinely got her one of those. Help me.)

As we gathered on the rooftop and shared a glass of champagne – it made for a pleasant change to drink with others, rather than alone, crying in the dark – we exchanged gifts. Someone bought me this year’s surprise hit, Eddie the Eagle on DVD. And, despite being a film I’d not seen before, I kinda wish I had seen it sooner. It’s actually quite good.

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And, boy, I do now feel guilty about spending seven pounds less than our optimistic £10 budget.

While the comedy-drama is filled to the brim with overused movie tropes, you can’t help but kinda fall in love with Eddie the Eagle. And if you don’t, you’re racist to gingers.

Kingsman’s Taron Egerton stars at the titular character in the biopic, which tells the true story of British ski-jumper Michael Edwards, as he – despite his lack of talent – manages to win the hearts of fellow sportsmen and the nation. While I’m sure Taron didn’t do many of his own stunts, it’s worth awarding the actor for managing to keep his mouth doing that Eddie-thing all the way through. I tried, and by 24-minutes in, I was getting jaw-cramp.

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Taron’s depiction of Eddie seems pretty fun and silly; as expected in this camp flick… But then again, I knew very little of Edwards. For all I know, Eddie could have been a rapping nun from Glasgow. While most of the humour comes from Egerton’s naivety and all-round nerdiness, other cast members include the fictitious coach, Hugh Jackman, who is – disappointingly – every film cliché in history. He’s the alcoholic who gives up booze in support of his friend; he arrives on the scene unexpectedly to show support when it’s needed most; he is the voice in someone’s head when they’re going through tough times; he even does a slapstick punch to the nose. Heck, if you through in “But I don’t wanna wear the dress, mummy” sleep talking, you’d never have to make another movie again. Still, the pair seem to spar off each other well, and the chemistry between the two doesn’t look false. All-in-all, the duo make the movie. Unlike…

Christopher Walken. The incredible, Oscar-winning thespian, who was probably paid thousands to be in Eddie the Eagle, portrayed the picture of Christopher Walken on the cover of a book. That’s pretty much it until the final fifteen minutes. Christopher was Hugh’s skiing coach, who disowned him, and Hugh sought after his acceptance for years after that, only for Walken to waddle in the room in the final scene and say “You did good, kid”. Well, I spent six years of my life making a Cliché-Detector, and it exploded at this movie. It was the first time I ever got to use it for crying out loud.

The set-up isn’t complicated; Eddie goes up a slope, he comes down it, he tries again. And that’s what’s nice about it – the director, Dexter Fletcher, didn’t try to make this some heart-wrenching drama, where Eddie had to overcome some harrowing obstacles or the fate of the entire world (or his skis, whatever) would be crushed. It’s a simple film where you can giggle at Hugh Jackman’s sex face. Tee hee. The drama really comes from Fletcher’s attempts to sell the danger of the ramps, using camera shots directly down and above the slope.

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Much like Love Actually, Eddie the Eagle is just a sweet, feel-good movie. No-one was going into this expecting hard-hitting political satire on the current economical climate in Uruguay, were they? If so, you’re an outright f***ing idiot. The cheesy pop hits of the 80s and the garish costumes just add to the enjoyment. Sure, it’s not the most perfect movie in cinematic history, but if you ever need a film to put your feet up to, and get your hand stuck in a tube of Pringles during (sadly, true story) then why not Eddie the Eagle?

But seriously, I would try to persuade you to watch a film that has Hall & Oates in the soundtrack. Don’t even get me started on 500 Days of Summer.

* plays video forever *

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