Based on the true story of Michael “Eddie” Edwards, Britain’s first Olympic ski jumper, Eddie the Eagle is a story of a wannabe Olympian of such determination that he’s prepared to risk life and limb to get there.
Eddie is affectionately portrayed by Taron Edgerton, who gives the film its heart and makes us root for Eddie in spite of his plainly absurd ambition. Hugh Jackman also gives a solid turn as former jumper and coach Bronson Peary. Both play the comedy well without selling out their characters.
The film’s biggest weakness is that which it has in common with the show The Jump: ski jumping isn’t a particularly drama-inducing sport. True, there are some tense moments as Eddie makes his way to the top of the run, but ultimately his success or failure is down to whether he can land the jump, which is necessarily over in a couple of seconds.
So where Rocky has a long grueling fight, Eddie hurtles down a slope then lands or doesn’t. So what’s on the line is essentially whether or not he rapidly doubles the number of bones in his body. It effectively follows established genre tropes, managing to amuse and entertain and amuse to some extent along the way. But as competition movies go this finishes middle of the pack.