Everyone loves a good underdog story, and sports films have always been a good avenue for those stories to thrive. I know a lot of people like to complain sometimes about 'biopics' and how they should be as close to the source material as possible, but I look at it a different way. I go to the movies for an experience. Whether that be to laugh, cry, smile, or whatever, I go for the experience. If a film would be better off taking plenty of liberties, I'm all for it. Eddie the Eagle definitely took that philosophy, and for the most part, it really worked.
First of all, I have to give a shout out to Elk Grove Cinema (not that they would actually be reading this) for inviting me to a preview screening of the film a few weeks before its wide release. Of course I jumped at the opportunity considering Hugh Jackman and the up and comer Taron Egerton were starring in a sports film, especially a seemingly uplifting one at that. The film absolutely did not disappoint. Similar to last week's Finest Hours, I went in with mediocre expectations, and came out very pleasantly satisfied with what I got. It's a feel good story that I think everyone can get behind. Eddie dreamed his entire life of competing in the Olympics and was told that he would never make it, naturally that's someone we would root for.
The good thing is that Egerton does more than just portray a sympathetic character. He transforms into Eddie the Eagle. I didn't know much about him before the film but it seems like he really pulled off Edwards' emotions and body language to a T. Jackman is also very good as the clichéd drunk washed up trainer that takes Eddie from being a wannabe to an Olympic athlete. I think that's what a lot of people will come out of the film saying, it's so clichéd. To an extent, they're not wrong. Each and every character is the prototype of what you would expect them to be, whether they are supporting Eddie or entirely against him. But I also don't think it was always a detriment to the film. Sometimes the clichés worked.
As I said, the film is incredible satisfying. It's one of the best examples of a pure crowd-pleaser. I absolutely loved the music choices including the score and some timely 80's song choices. Sure, I think the stakes could have been raised a bit here or there to give an even bigger emotional moment, but I can't say the film didn't already bring me to teary eyes at some points. And that to me, is an experience at the movies. This weekend don't forget to review the movie yourself.