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Film Review / Eddie the Eagle (2015)

I knew next to nothing about Eddie Edwards or ski jumping before this film. Now I know a little more about Edwards and the only thing I need to about ski jumping except what i already knew - it looks fucking terrifying. I mean you have to have a heart that can stop and start at will to be able to stand at the top of those slopes and intentionally slide down and launch one's self off them.

So, obviously, I watched Eddie the Eagle not because of the content but because Hugh Jackman was in it, and I had just finished watching Real Steel (again) with said Jackman so was inclined for a bit more. Because his performance was just so damn good, it took me about twenty minutes to work out that Taron Egerton was Eggsy from Kingsman: The Secret Service because he looked so damn much like Eddie Edwards. Hats off to him.

Eddie the Eagle is great fun. Covering a little of his childhood and his eagerness to try out anything that might day get him into the Olympics, Eddie eventually finds skiing to be his thing. Unfortunately the coach of the English team doesn't feel the same due to some clumsiness on Eddie's part, and so rejects him. Eddie, in a slump for a while finally decides on trying out ski jumping and heads off to try out for qualifiers. Hilariously, after jumping the nice little 15m once ... once ...he heads off to the bigger one.

Enter Bronson Peary, former US ski-jump hotshot who went off the rails and out of the sport. Initially laughing at this odd-body from Britain and all his hopes and dreams, he finally comes round to helping Eddie learn to jump. Mostly so he just doesn't die trying. But even after passing the UK Olympic Council's jumping rules, they try at every turn to get him to stay away from the games by changing the rules.

But stopping Eddie the Eagle is no easy task. He doesn't want to wait four years and train properly for the next games, knowing the council would probably just triple the jump length required. Nope. He's going to do it now, and he's going to the damn Olympics.

Taron Egerton is just fantastic in this film. He captures the essence and likeability of Eddie, without making him seem too naive. He plays him with a gentle passion, but also a sweetness that means you have no choice but to root for the guy. Hugh Jackman's brash alcoholic Bronson is great too, with real chemistry between him and Egerton, even ending up as inspiring to his own old coach (old Christopher Walken shows up too!) - especially when he gets pissed and jumps the 90 metre perfectly.

One of my very favourite moments though, is when the young Finnish champion, Matti Nykänen, a stern, silent type with little humour it seems, speaks to Eddie in the lift about them being more the same than any of the others, despite their vast opposing differences in learning and skill level. He tells him it's not about liking or loving jumping - it's about the heart, about the blood, and when Eddie decides almost on the day of the jump that he's going to do the 90-metre onenow, that's the moment he probably realised it wasn't a love thing. It was unending, burning necessity.


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