Eddie The Eagle is a true underdog story based on the campaign of Michael Edwards known as Eddie “The Eagle” Edwards who represented Britain at the 1988 Winter Olympics and became a hit with press.
Taron Egerton stars as the eponymous hero alongside Hugh Jackman Bronson Peary his reluctant washed-up drunk of a coach who is clearly fictionalised.
The whole story is peculiarly fictionalised with weird decisions like the coach addition and making him seem like an unskilled athlete from the outset.
The storytelling is oddly framed with baffling plot mechanics like an exhausted father-son relationship which just goes through the motions which ties in with an absurd underlying pseudo-father-son story with Hugh Jackman and Christopher Walken; which leads to a predictable yet bafflingly upstaging climax.
The film takes some liberties with the truth to contribute to a predictable sickly-sweet cliché ridden plot. Every fist-pumping moment from every underdog story already told is crowbarred in to make it feel conventional and comfortable rather than rousing.
Dexter Fletcher so obviously directs the hell out of the picture with cringeworthy moments, telegraphed plot points and forced back references which are uncomfortable to watch. It is most egregious in the ski-jump set piece with Hugh Jackman which leaves a bad saccharine taste behind.
Taron Egerton keeps the film watchable and somewhat rousing in parts with an endearing, triumphant performance. If only the same could be said for Jackman who phones it in. He is not helped by the script which only need to scratch the surface a little to find humans instead of empty shell stereotypes.
It has an honest aim with a good heart but is diminished by it’s hackneyed story telling.
Verdict: ⭐ ⭐ A great performance from Taron Egerton can’t hide the overly sweet, clichéd plot which dampens the rouse.