Wednesday, 30 March 2016
REVIEW: EDDIE THE EAGLE
105 Minutes. Starring: Taron Egerton, Hugh Jackman, Keith Allen, Jim Broadbent & Christopher Walken. Director: Dexter Fletcher.
The Eagle has landed! But oh how he rose like a Phoenix. Have you ever been told you can't do something? Been wrote off and disregarded? Merely because of who you are or how you look to others? It's more than frustrating right? Its ignorant and puts you down beyond belief and words discriminatingly. It's dumb but it smarts like hell. Like hitting the ice over and over again like a sledgehammer, 70 meters and counting. But still you jump like all you can say is "how high"! Hurts doesn't it? But I bet you don't give up do you? Then boy this is the film for you. Time to take flight with 'Eddie The Eagle' as this movie spreads its wings all the way back to the 80's. From the nauseating shell suits to the sick music that both thought was the future of culture to come. One man who was ahead of his time was Michael Edwards. The first man in six decades to represent Great Britain as a Ski-Jumper in the Winter Olympics and oh how he jumped in the Calgary games in Canada, 1988. When it comes to five rings forget the medals-no matter how nice that biscuit tin is-Eddie is one of our greatest Olympians of all-time. Certainly the most inspiring. In the year of Rio it may be four unbelievable years since England's capital city London hosted the last Olympics, but its been almost 30 years since Edwards made his debut and even to this day his influence still rings true. He went from akward amateur to perfecting pro in less time than it takes to tie your shoe. The Eagle went from flapping to taking wing. Sure setting the British record was easy. Going the distance and smashing his own one took something else. Courage...heart and with that he captured a nations like all our everyday heroes do. But hit rewind on the videotape real footage and see how he takes off and streaks through the ice and sky and it's a thing of beauty that shows you this kid wasn't just everybody. Now in a film that's the ballet of 'Billy Elliott' meets the Jamaican Bobsled team of 'Cool Runnings' it's going to take a King and a Wolf (kind of sounds like an English country pub doesn't it?) to make this Eagle fly.
Great Britain has its own young gun aiming for the podium in he that would be 'Kingsman'...or Solo! Taron Egerton soars as 'Eddie The Eagle'. Egged on by the critics who just thought Egerton could only play the chav to Saville Row riches of 'Secret Service' agent Eggsy, the 'Kingman' franchise star proves them all wrong, almost as much as the man he's playing loves to do. Now you know this man could be the Han of a new, young 'Star Wars' movie he's that versatile. Forget Mr. Fantastic, Miles Teller, this kid should be the one to take over Harrison Ford's Solo career. Because here Edgerton regards Eddie with balance and poise like he was stunting down the snow himself. He treats this course like he does the climb with dignity and respect...you have to, otherwise this type of thing will kill you. Taron who characterised his 'Legend' alongside Tom Hardy's Kray-Kray twin double act last year captures it all perfectly. From the mild mannerisms to all his airs and social graces. Taron Edgerton is terrific in capturing the bashful bashing enthusiasm of Eddie as he channels his compelling courage all the way down from raised fists to open arms, with no slopes in his performance. It's a portrayal that instead of searching for sympathy asks...no demands...albeit politely that he has the same respect as the next man. 'Kingsman' made him a star. 'Eddie' has made him a real actor. Han Solo will make Taron Egerton one of the youngest and best. These expecations a great talent like this won't fail. He's determined to make it all the way down and up...no matter the obstacle in his way. Like a my way or the dole que, encouragement absent father played with desperate realism by Keith Allen of 'Bittersweet Symphony' parody, Three Lions anthem fame. Or a stiff upper lip committee that just wont match his commitment. Thank goodness for the joy of heart by the unconditional mother Joy Hartley, or priceless cameos from United Kingdom and United States legends Jim Broadbent and Chris Walken respectively, who like Olympic runners make the most of the scant seconds they record.
And then there's Hugh! The charisma machine Jackman is doing more here than just grooming the ice. The 'X-Men' franchise player is playing an ex-pro turned middle class, middleing disgrace. Caught in the rock and a hard place middle of the road between breakfast and needing a jacket for all this cold. And neither of those look like anything but the bottom of a hip flask...at least decorated in his nations colours. Some men drink for sport you know! Still playing Rocky to Taron's 'Creed' with Balboa bravado, Jackman is in coach catering Candyland between the vanilla snow and scoops of 'Runnings' nostalgia as teams of color coded tracksuit athletes spoon slalom their way through mountains of ice cream like hundreds and thousands. Never mind the sprinkles, don't take Hugh for granted. From Broadway to Marvel, this Wolverines claws have stayed as sharp as his quads...but he's always been more than the muscled spandex his John McClane white vest only has never needed to suit up. All you need to do is visit 'Prisoners' in your streaming library to unlock his real acting talent. But it's in a light but loving movie like this were you can really unlock this Academy A students contagious charm and heart warming soul of personality. This is 'Real Steel' serious fun, but still with genuine competitive commitment. Smiling in new sun on snow beams all the way to the victory...whether moral or merely medal. All these rays shine on a dynamic, knockout directing debut from 'Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barells' star Dexter Fletcher who really now might be the British directing go to guy like one that helped discover his talent in Ritchie. Shooting straight, Dex Fletch has it locked down and loaded. It's been emotional. It's been heart warming. It's been feel-good fun. It's even awe-inspiringly exciting and nail wracking and nerve biting with its sense of scale, Clark Kent leap of faiths. That same heart will wrenchingly be that lump in your throat with snow white knuckles frozen. Don't let it go! These are the heights of places people only come out alive via mouth to mouth. You can feel it on the hairs on your arms and your goosebumps the same. Far from the mob-hits of East End gangster movies these London boys bring the good nature that may just nurture your 'Batman v Superman' disappointment. It's the dawn of a superhero named 'Eddie The Eagle' doing justice to the step in your sprung Spring. With all this Great British weather that rains it's time to take yourself away from a country so cold it could hold a Winter Olympics in July to the epic escapism of quitting that tired 9 to 5 for your dozing dream that just won't give up. Inspired yet? Having fun? Time to get deliriously so with Eddie. Climb to your cinema if you have to and watch everything fly like an Eagle! TIM DAVID HARVEY.