'Eddie the Eagle' - Movie Review

"Eddie the Eagle" will act as a sports history lesson for many, but a lot of us still remember the sensation Michael "Eddie" Edwards made at the 1988 Calgary Olympics. He's the subject of a movie because he embodies multiple contradictions, which makes him fascinating, and he was (and remains) a charming guy.

The movie starts by showing Eddie at a very young age - in poor health but nevertheless determined to go to the Olympics. A few years later his clumsiness - or perhaps "lack of elegance" - fails to endear him to the British Olympic Committee, and he's ejected from the downhill skiing team. Which leads to his taking up ski jumping - a sport in which there's been no British entry in the Olympics since 1928, and where he can dodge the very old rules to get in despite the committee. The BOC changed the rules to keep him out - but with almost zero money and coaching, he trained and competed and just barely made it past the new qualifications to get him in to Calgary's Olympics.

I was significantly put off by the scowl that Taron Egerton wears as Eddie through much of the movie - I think it was an attempt to replicate the real Eddie's spectacularly jutting jaw. The problem is that on Egerton it makes him look upset, whereas the real Eddie merely looked ... unusual, not upset. Aside from that, it's a charming, mildly unbelievable (and almost all true) story of a goofy and charming character who became a hero to millions by coming last at the Olympics.