Movie Review – “Eddie the Eagle”

This film soars!  “Eddie the Eagle” sticks its landing, underscoring the cause-and-effect between determination and self-fulfillment.

– Patrick King, REEL BRIEF

eddie-eagle

Each of us has our own “Eddie the Eagle” story to tell. Where desire, heart and the inability to be deterred culminate in the successful achievement of our dreams, goals and life paths. My seventh grade “Career Development” teacher ridiculed and mocked my early decision to seek a flying career. He laughed so hard that he had to announce my goals to the entire class.

For all of us who’ve ever been told they couldn’t aspire to reach our lifelong ambitions or personal goals, “Eddie the Eagle” launches an exhilarating rebuttal to the naysayers and disbelievers of the world. More importantly, though, it instills the importance of perseverance and tenacity, along with a healthy dose of fearlessness, required to pursue one’s dream.

eddie-eagle2Eddie “The Eagle” Edwards at the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary.

An inspiring true story, “Eddie the Eagle” takes moviegoers along the unorthodox path of British legendary ski jumper Michael “Eddie” Edwards to the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, Canada. A quick learner with endless desire, Edwards can never quite find his true calling in sports—one that compliments his disregard for safety with his lifelong dream to find a shining athletic “moment” of achievement.

The film wildly succeeds in large part through compelling and believable performances by Taron Egerton (from last year’s “Kingsman: The Secret Service”) and “Wolverine” Hugh Jackman—who we find in a much tamer, but more encompassing role than we’re used to seeing the actor partake in.

While the plot is as thin as black ice, “Eddie the Eagle” nicely fosters a budding teacher-pupil relationship between Jackman’s snow plow driving persona and Egerton’s novice man-child ski jumper. Not until the movie’s ending do we realize the full complexity and mutual support behind their amazing rapport and teamwork.

The film’s highest marks are earned by the heart-warming and sentimental Olympic rise of someone whom most doubted, and even more never fully understood. “Eddie the Eagle” sticks its landing, underscoring the cause-and-effect between determination and self-fulfillment.

Edwards didn’t pick himself up off the snow following his horrendous crashes to show his resoluteness to others. Likewise, he didn’t climb the 70-meter platform to prove others wrong. No, not a chance. To persevere for others’ sake only takes us so far in life. A true realization of dreams, takes persistence by the individual, for the individual. Eddie “The Eagle” Edwards pursued and realized his dreams because he wanted them.

A year after Mr. Manley’s 7th grade class and at the age of 14, I took up flying lessons and eventually earned my private pilot’s license. Now, with 20+ years of military flying behind me as a pilot and 35-years in aviation, I can look back and realize that my dreams and goals we always only mine. I never sought out or achieved success to prove someone else wrong—even if they were my teacher. Or in Michael “Eddie” Edwards’ case…a parent, a competitor, the British Olympic Committee or the world.

Grade: B+

“Eddie the Eagle” is rated PG-13 for some suggestive material, partial nudity and smoking.  Its running time is 1 hour and 45 minutes.

© 2016, Patrick. All rights reserved.



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