COMIC DRAMA; 1hr 46min
STARRING: Taron Egerton, Hugh Jackman
Winging it: Egerton (left) and Jackman
Even as a child with a leg brace, the Olympics are the Holy Grail for Michael "Eddie" Edwards (Egerton as a mulishly jut-jawed adult), who climbs a mountain of obstacles to ski jump for Britain in director Dexter Fletcher's back-pat. Eddie the Eagle, as he comes to be known, is a little battler who always wished he could, so it's fitting that Fletcher's fact-inspired spin is essentially an inflated telemovie that just about can.
Unlike its guileless subject, Fletcher's film never completely takes flight but Eddie's bases are conscientiously covered — skiing aspirations that don't pan out, a disapproving plasterer dad (Keith Allen) and devoted mum (Jo Hartley), then the discovery of ski jumping at age 22; training generally begins around age six. Barely pausing for breath, which he has no time to do, anyway, Eddie takes himself to Germany and the jaded stewardship of (fictional) erstwhile US champ Bronson Peary (Jackman), who now ploughs the snow instead of crushing it. Eddie loses out at Calgary's 1988 Winter Olympics, but the crowds go wild for the Eagle's daredevilish, ham-hearted style. Why wouldn't they? Everyone's a sucker for a seemingly impossible dream.