Hope is something that can be found anytime and at any place. While a sports drama may not be the most original of motivators, it’s definitely a powerful one. Eddie the Eagle is a movie that has slowly become a temple of hope for me. I knew its potency was effective when I found myself clapping at the T.V. screen at 3.30 in the morning, sitting all alone. This wasn’t even a preplanned move, it happened naturally, almost like a reflex action. The moving is inspiring and yet simply enjoyable.
The film is about an underdog, a possibly undertalented ski jumper who is ready to face any challenge to make it to the Olympics. Underdog stories might be common and rousing but are hardly ever relatable. Rocky might get you on your feet and feeling motivated but not because you relate to him. The same can be said about the central characters from A Beautiful Mind or The Terminal. They are great, well-drawn characters who have factors holding them back but are also extremely hard to relate to. However, Eddie the Eagle’s strongest aspect is its relatability, because for once a sports film is not about a prodigal, once-in-a-generation talent but someone more akin to a regular person. The characters don’t seem distant or unrealistic, the journey is steady and gripping. The film is not about miracles, but rather the confidence to dream about these miracles when others lose faith.
Taron Egerton is phenomenal as the titular character, he portrays him and the various quirks required with utmost conviction. His acting is impactful, nuanced, and very versatile. He is unrecognisable compared to the suave agent he portrays in the Kingsman movies. On the other hand, Hugh Jackman is impressive in a well-drawn but not imposing supporting role. His acting is subtle yet strong as a harsh but well-intentioned coach. The rest of the supporting cast is also similarly able.
Eddie the Eagle does not reinvent the wheel when it comes to sports dramas, but nor does it try to do so. It features many classic tropes: an unlikely contender, a reluctant coach, and constant rejection and scorn toward the main character. However, the film is still honest and inspiring in its depiction of an unremarkable man chasing the impossible. The movie is entertaining, gripping, and very enjoyable. Watch the film for a hope-filled journey of hard work, undying determination, and one-mindedness wrapped in the package of an endearing and fascinating sports drama.
Disclaimer: This article has not been written by Film Companion’s editorial team.