Taron Egerton), an unlikely but courageous British ski-jumper who never stopped believing in himself - even as an entire nation was counting him out. With the help of a rebellious and charismatic coach (Hugh Jackman)">

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Running Time:
1 hour 45 minutes

Rating: PG-13 Parents Strongly Cautioned.

Rating Explanation:
for some suggestive material, partial nudity and smoking

Jimmy's Buzz Guide Review:
The amiable sweetness can't disguise its story's many inspirational clichés; but for many viewers, it will be more than enough to make up for them.

Additional Info:
Hugh Jackman ... Bronson Peary
Tom Costello Jr. ... Eddie (10 years old)
Jo Hartley ... Janette
Keith Allen ... Terry
Dickon Tolson ... UK Doctor
Jack Costello ... Eddie (age 15)
Taron Egerton ... Eddie Edwards
Mark Benton ... Richmond
Tim McInnerny ... Dustin Target
Edvin Endre ... Matti Nykänen
Mads Sjøgård Pettersen ... Erik Moberg
Marc Benjamin ... Lars Holbin
Iris Berben ... Petra
Rune Temte ... Bjørn the Norwegian Coach

Eddie the Eagle
Bronson Peary (Hugh Jackman), is a has-been, alcoholic ski jumper who becomes a reluctant coach to Brit Michael “Eddie” Edwards, the energetic amateur who strove to win a spot as his country’s representative in that sport at the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary; and managed, against all odds, to do so, earning international celebrity for his enthusiasm, if not for his prowess, in the process.

Of course, such a bottomless flask is a fantasy. But then so is Bronson Peary, a totally made-up character. And so is most of the picture, which is only 10-15% accurate. As directed by Dexter Fletcher, this is a formulaic feel-good sports movie about a hapless underdog who overcomes obstacle after obstacle to win a moral victory, if not one for the record books.

We’re introduced to Bronson as nerdy, bespectacled lad with bad knees (played successively by Tom and Jack Costello) who badgers his working-class parents, a supportive mom (Jo Hartley) and irascible father (Keith Allen) with his Olympic dreams. He learns to ski in order to join the British team, but the officious fellows in charge of the country’s Olympic effort toss him off the squad because of his irrepressible klutziness.

Still, that doesn’t long dampen the hopes of Edwards, now played by Taron Egerton as an overweight doofus who squints a lot while his lower lip quivers uncontrollably. He discovers that Britain has been without a representative in the ski-jump since 1929, and determines to learn the sport posthaste to qualify. Soon he’s off to Garmisch, Germany, where enormous ramps are available to contenders like the contemptuous Finnish squad that includes the current world’s champion, oddly intense Matti Nykanen (Edvin Endre). Eddie finds a friend in a restaurateur (Iris Berben) who takes him on as a waiter, and eventually a coach of sorts in Peary, a erstwhile star on the U.S. team who was dismissed from it by legendary coach Warren Sharp (Christopher Walken) for his recklessness and bravado—and now plows the practice field back into shape after skiers have messed it up.

Peary initially rejects Edwards’ pleas to teach him, but eventually relents if only to get the fellow off his back. Of course, his instruction allows Eddie to at least jump the smaller ramps, and to qualify for the games—though only barely. But while his jumps are hardly championship quality, Eddie’s sheer exuberance about managing them at all earns the initially dismissive spectators to become loudly supportive, and soon even the British broadcast commentator (Jim Broadbent) has joined them. Eddie is soon a fan (and press) favorite, much to the chagrin of the British Olympic officials, who try unsuccessfully to quash his popularity. But Eddie outfoxes them by deciding to take on the biggest challenge of all—the 90-meter ramp, which he’s never even jumped before. His performance is no more than mediocre, but the crowd explodes with pleasure, and even old Sharp appears to confirm that Peary’s role in Edwards’ triumph has redeemed his former student in his eyes.

There’s a pat quality to all this that recalls lots of previous movies, but Eddie the Eagle minimizes the effect by basically acknowledging its indebtedness to such past crowd-pleasers; there’s even a brief mention of the Jamaicans at one point, as if to admit an important model. And though both Taron Egerton and Hugh Jackman play their parts to the hilt, they make a fairly agreeable team, abetted by a fine supporting cast who help to make even the worst of the clichés go down relatively easily.

Eddie the Eagle doesn’t soar, but apart from a couple of mildly suggestive moments it can serve as a harmless piece of uplifting family entertainment. One wonders, though, whether in other hands it might have been something more interesting—a study of dangerously reckless ambition rather than childlike enthusiasm.  Of course, fashioning something like that would demand a degree of artistic aspiration that seems beyond the makers of this inoffensive but trivial movie.


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