Dexter Fletcher directs Taron Egerton, Hugh Jackman and Keith Allen in this sports biopic of the British ski jumper who captured the imaginations of the 1980s public despite not being particularly great at his chosen field.
Almost exactly like Cool Runnings (a film also inspired by a set of unlikely athletes who featured in the very same 1988 Winter Olympics), this is a kids flick powered by a winning blend of warm heart, light drama and soft comedy. It is not going to win any awards nor be held up for its historical veracity, yet it amplifies a footnote in sporting history with colour and excitement. Egerton plays Edwards big and unpretentiously, the gurning and the enthusiasm and the simplicity of the performance match my childhood memories of Eddie The Eagle’s celebrity appearances. He was so unguarded and clearly a nice guy, the script and the star never stray from that interpretation of him. It is sweet to watch a biopic that doesn’t focus on tragedy, rather letting the subject’s minor achievements and inspirational hard work be their own justification for the big screen outing. Jackman is also very good value, lending his big name cache to a basic stock role. Dexter Fletcher mines his leads for continually pleasing moments and sells the risks of the jumps with an aggressive persuasiveness. All in all you get a neat little romp for all the family.