There’s something about the British and our love of the underdog. Whether it’s a non-league team playing one of the top dogs in the FA Cup or a plucky qualifier taking on the top seed at Wimbledon, there’s nothing we like more than to support David against Goliath. When it comes to the Winter Olympics it’s fair to say that as a country we don’t have a great pedigree. This was especially the case in ski jumping until Eddie the Eagle came along.
Growing up in the ’70s, Eddie (Taron Egerton) spends his childhood dreaming of going to the Olympics. Unfortunately, he’s just not the athletic type. His dad (Keith Allen) despairs and tries to get him to concentrate on getting a job whilst his mum (Jo Hartley) supports his dreams. Now an adult and plastering with his dad, Eddie has almost given up, but sees the Winter Olympics as his last chance. When he’s kicked-off the downhill team he sets his sights on ski jumping, but he’ll need a coach. That’s where the alcoholic and washed-up Bronson Peary (Hugh Jackman) comes in.
On the face of it Eddie the Eagle does not seem like a tempting cinematic prospect. I went into it expecting not to like it but it won me over and then some. The change in Taron Egerton between Kingsman and this is almost unbelievable and he’s actually brilliant in the lead role. Director Dexter Fletcher has taken what could have been a bland and insipid story and made it into a funny and heart-warming tale. Eddie the Eagle is one of the best British films of the year and there’s a surprising cameo to boot!
Eddie The Eagle is out to download 1st August and on DVD/Blu-ray 8th August.