Thursday, June 16, 2016

"Eddie the Eagle": one-paragraph review

If you saw the preview trailer for "Eddie the Eagle"—a film directed by Dexter Fletcher, produced by Matthew Vaughn (the same unsubtle guy who directed "Kick-Ass," "Kingsman," and the surprisingly excellent "X-Men: First Class"), and starring Taron Egerton and Hugh Jackman—then you've pretty much seen the film. In a nutshell: the movie is based on the true story of Michael "Eddie" Edwards, a young man who, as a child, has to wear a leg brace and is advised against ever doing sports. Young Eddie nevertheless aspires to become an Olympian, changing his desired sport over the years before finally settling on ski jumping. He trains in Germany, where he meets Olympian burnout Bronson Peary (Jackman), a former ski-jumping champion who had a falling-out with his coach, Warren Sharp (Christopher Walken), back when Peary was a young champion. You can guess the rest: moments of adversity, ups and downs between coach and learner, and eventual triumph—in this case, in the form of both a personal best for Eddie and a new British ski-jumping record, modest though it be. Of note is the movie's shameless use of corny 80s-style synthesizer music as its soundtrack (most of the plot spans 1987 and the 1988 Calgary Olympics). The film's style feels more like a TV movie of the week than an actual movie movie; the drama is small and personal in scope, and most of the acting is a bit exaggerated and played for laughs. The story has its heart in the right place, but the film, overall, feels rather lightweight. Not deep, but fun.


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