On a wing and a prayer

Family-friendly feel-good sports movies are a bit thin on the ground right now so it is not surprising that the producers of Eddie the Eagle (Rialto and Readings) had to cast their minds back to more innocent times for their story.

 

EDDIE THE EAGLE

Director: Dexter Fletcher
Cast: Taron Egerton, Hugh Jackman, Jo Hartley, Keith Allen, Iris Berben, Tom Costello, Jack Costello, Mark Benton, Tim McInnerny, Edvin Endre, Rune Temte, Daniel Ings, Jim Broadbent, Christopher Walken
Rating: (PG)
Five stars (out of five)

 

Back in the day, Michael "Eddie'' Edwards was a divisive figure: some were enchanted by the plucky outsider who was the embodiment of the Olympic mantra that it is the taking part that counts, not the winning.

Others felt it was a mockery that someone so far out of medal contention should attend the world's premier winter sporting event.

That division over what sport is about continues to this day, and your take on it will probably colour your enjoyment of Eddie the Eagle.

While it is based on the true story of how Britain sent a marginal downhill ski jumper to the 1988 Calgary Games, most of this film is pure fantasy.

However, what remains true is the vibe of the little guy with a crazy idea who never gives up.

Taron Egerton, the actor playing Eddie, does a great job at making the single-minded but sweet-natured guy relateable, while Hugh Jackman, playing Bronson Peary, a maverick ex-ski jumper who reluctantly becomes Eddie's coach, masters the more difficult task of alerting the audience to just how dangerous Eddie's dream is.

- Christine Powley 

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