REVIEW: Eddie The Eagle is a ‘brilliantly British’ underdog success story

Eddie the Eagle

Eddie the Eagle - Credit: Archant

***** Brilliantly British, Eddie The Eagle - one of 2016’s biggest crowd pleaders - will have you smiling and willing him on as an underdog the whole way through.

The story, which bares some resemblance to Billy Elliot’s eventual triumph, is perfectly directed.

From the choice of nerdy oversized jumpers to his round spectacles to the ‘I’m Eddie’s Mum’ (and eventually, ‘Dad’, after he realises his son’s unique talent) knitted pull overs and the soundtrack itself, it’s quintessential English gold.

Eddie Edwards (Taron Edgerton) doesn’t swear, doesn’t drink (apart from when his posh boy teammates dupe him into downing shots, lager and beer ‘to prevent a curse’ which ends up to be a cruel trick) and he’s very polite with his ‘thank you’s.

The film follows Eddie, at first as a youngster, but always with a huge dream - to be an Olympian.

Despite receiving a succession of knockbacks from his dad; who up until the end wants him to get a proper qualification as a plasterer like him, dismissing his ambitions as nothing but an unrealistic fairytale; and the British Olympic Association who don’t believe he’ll attract enough sponsors to warrant sending him to Canada for the 1988 Winter Olympics.

Refusing to take no for an answer, an ever determined Eddie journeys to Germany to take his first steps as a ski jumper.

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It’s here when he meets rough-on-the-outside former champion of the sport Bronson Peary (Hugh Jackman) who at first refuses to coach him.

But it’s not long before they’re setting off in Eddie’s dad’s van - with the family savings thanks to high-spirited mum Janette (Jo Hartley) - to train... Together, Edgerton and Jackman make for an unlikely, yet largely likeable on-screen duo, and the closing scenes will have your eyes filling with happiness.

Eddie The Eagle screens at The Light Cinema in Wisbech this weekend and next week: 13:30 16:00 18:30 18:40 21:00