I'm going to be frank and say I'm usually not a fan of sports films. Not to say I don't like any films from this genre, but I've found some of them to be boring and wearily formulaic. This formula unofficially dictates that they must feature a besmirched underdog who finds them-self under the tutelage of a tough, but competent coach who guides them to glory and self realization. Proving that all of their disbelievers were wrong about their athletic prowess and determination.
20th Century Fox's Eddie the Eagle does tread some of this territory, and as a result it lags at certain points. However, it distinguishes itself from typical sport movies by offering the audience endearing characters, softhearted humor and engaging storytelling. The movie chronicles Eddie Edwards' journey from a hopeful youth to Olympian qualifier. The real-life Edwards mentioned that this film is 10-15% factual while everything else is fabricated. This includes being mentored by a fictional coach named Bronson Peary who's portrayed by actor Hugh Jackman.
The movie's weak points stem from its frequent use of cliches and stereotypes. This includes the supportive and idealistic mother, overbearing father, generic bullies, montages and the protagonist's rise and fall to achieving their goals. Fortunately, they're not exasperated to the point they're obnoxious. It's also incredibly cheesy enough for the state of Wisconsin to stop in and say, "you guys are overdoing it." As far as visual effects go the CGI can come off as primitive, but there's only a few sequences involving its use.
Despite the negatives, its positives outweigh them. The overall cast is splendid. Its lead in particular Taron Egrton gives a distinguishing performance as Eddie Edwards that separates himself from any other actor. He and Jackson's chemistry as the student and teacher is enigmatic and you can genuinely sense the bond these two share. The suspense is also well executed. When we see Eddie riding the slopes the scenes are intricately crafted to play with the us, the viewers' nerves and leaving us perplexed whether he'll make it or not. Then there's the sentimental value this film leaves. The young Edwards is someone we want to see succeed and through each hurdle he overcomes we're elated and invigorated to witness it. The fact he's this novice ski jumper, but his drive and tenacity takes him closer and closer to his dream is uplifting and motivating.
Despite its flaws, Eddie the Eagle is worthwhile watching. At its essence it's a feel-good movie that'll leave you feeling fuzzy and content. Unlike sports films in general it's more comedic than dramatic. I believe it's a film the whole family can go see, but I'm not sure how much children would be invested in it. If you have the time and money go check out Eddie the Eagle on February 26.