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So as you know, I stopped writing lengthy reviews on this site this year, keeping the blog as more of a film diary of sorts.  Lo and behold,...

Monday, March 27, 2017

Movie Review - Eddie the Eagle

Eddie the Eagle (2016)
Starring Taron Egerton, Hugh Jackman, Jo Hartley, and Keith Allen
Directed by Dexter Fletcher
***This film is currently streaming via HBO Now/Go***

Straightforward as can be, Eddie the Eagle is an inspirational sports movie that hits all the notes expected as it explores the true story of Eddie Edwards (played here by Taron Egerton), a young British man who has dreamed of being an Olympian despite being awkward (to say the least) when it comes to sports.  With the Summer Olympics necessitating strength and speed which is out of the question for the lanky twentysomething, Eddie shifts his attention to the Winter Olympics and ski jumping -- a sport in which Great Britain hadn't competed for over six decades as of the 1980s.  Eddie decides to self-train at a ski jumping facility in Germany where he meets American Bronson Peary (Hugh Jackman), a former Olympic ski jumper who now tends to the snow at the training center.  Bronson eventually (and reluctantly) takes Eddie under his wing, helping him prepare for the Olympic games and also convince the British Olympic Committee to allow him to compete.

Steeped in low budget 1980s-style movie quirkiness including some fantastically retro music, Eddie the Eagle is just offbeat enough to make the clichéd aspects of the stereotypical "sports movie" work here.  Director Dexter Fletcher embraces the kitschy nature of stylized aesthetic -- which includes a somewhat over-the-top, but oddly totally believable and utterly engaging performance from Taron Egerton -- and makes this film better than I expected.  It's a family friendly piece in the best way possible -- it doesn't cater to the kids despite being totally acceptable for all ages with the exception of maybe a curse word or two, but it causes us adults to embrace the wild abandon we've pushed aside for years.  This true story is one with which I wasn't the least bit familiar, but I was thoroughly engaged its entire runtime.

The RyMickey Rating:  B

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