Relive the inspirational story of Michael ‘The Eagle’ Edwards and his infamous appearance at the 1988 Winter Olympics, where he became Britain’s first competitor in ski-jumping for 60 years. Taron Egerton is perfectly cast as one of the most memorable faces from 1980s Britain, the ski-jumper (from a nation with no history of ski-jumping) who learned the sport from scratch after being dumped the official downhill-ski team, and whose sub-podium exploits charmed a nation famed for its veneration of noble losers.
Underdog sporting endeavours have inspired many film favourites down the years, and Eddie the Eagle follows a similar trajectory as 1993’s much-loved Cool Runnings (whose Jamaican bobsled team were the other unlikely underdogs from the same Calgary Olympics). Familiar though the course may be, it’s no less enjoyable and inspiring for it, with Egerton backed by some rich supporting performances from Hugh Jackman as Eddie’s jaded, booze-pickled coach and Keith Allen as his disapproving dad.
Matthew Vaughan (Kick Ass) mounts a handsome production with director Dexter Fletcher (Wild Bill) contributing some pleasingly off-kilter touches, while ensuring the jumps themselves are conveyed as heart-poundingly vertiginous as they must have seemed to Edwards. Climb aboard for a film to make the spirits soar.