Since its release, Cool Runnings has earned itself cult-level status in pop culture — and it’s not hard to see why. History has proven time and time again how much audiences love a true-life tale of underdogs fighting for their dreams, whether it was a teenage boy in Slumdog Millionaire or indeed four Jamaican Olympic hopefuls in the aforementioned film.
Eddie the Eagle is likely to enjoy a similar fate, ticking all the boxes when it comes to casting, story and instilling hope in viewers. It’s the kind of film that tackles you in the heart and lifts your spirits (it’s hard not to feel overjoyed by such an unbelievable story).
Directed by Dexter Fletcher (Wild Bill), this hearty sports drama stars Taron Egerton as Eddie “The Eagle” Edwards, who in 1988 became Great Britain’s first competitor in Olympic ski jumping. If you’re as unfamiliar as I was with the man in question then fear not — the script is in no hurry to jump to the main events, giving you just the right amount of time to fall in love with Eddie and understand his desire to prove people wrong. Undergoing quite the transformation is The Kingsman‘s Egerton, who is almost unrecognisable as the bespeckled Eddie. Every mannerism has been brought to life perfectly, and I’d wager those close to “The Eagle” would be pleased with the Egerton’s physical performance.
Also stealing the show is Hugh Jackman as the fictional Bronson Peary, a former American ski jumping champion who left the sport under less than heroic circumstances. He’s a drunk and grumpy (as many reluctant couches tend to be portrayed in film), and it’s his hilarious interactions with Eddie, from the amusing to grim, that give the film its heart.
While Eddie wasn’t the Olympic hero the world expected, he was the hero it needed. And much like the unsuspecting fans of the sport, you’ll come to love him (and this film) just as much.