Eddie the Eagle takes comedic flight as an eccentric underdog story.
Sports movies are often rife with clichés. But, this one, about 80's ski jumper Eddie Edwards, is unique in its approach to the drama of sport as well as its main character. It's a comedy, and we laugh as much at the protagonist as cheer him on. The movie is based on the real life story of this latecomer to the Olympic sport, and even though he overcomes a history of handicapped legs, stalled dreams, and a family of naysayers, this film concentrates more on his pratfalls, unconventional training and comedic banter with his washed up, reluctant coach. (Is there any other kind in sports movies?) Taron Egerton and Hugh Jackman play up the fun in the cheeky script by first-time scribers Simon Kelton and Sean McCauley and director Dexter Fletcher milks that odd coupling and the kitschy 80's period details throughout. Still, the sports cinematography and visual effects are truly dramatic, and you can't help much cheer this underdog tale even if it takes a lot of liberties with the genre.