Eddie the Eagle is released on DVD today – how quaint, what with the Olympics on an’ all.
Here’s a selection of images in case you forgot what Taron Egerton looks like with glasses / 80s lycra and Hugh Jackman looks like as… Hugh Jackman:
Yes: I got asked to do this. To be honest though, I don’t really care. Eddie the Eagle is a great movie that anyone – and I mean anyone – could quite easily watch. It’s not a landmark film, but it never intended to be.
True story, bro…
Firstly, it’s a biopic of what will forever be a sporting triumph – a true one at that. Eddie Edwards was a fine example of Olympic spirit, which transgresses the colloquial British stereotype: stiff-upper-lip-ism, sarcasm, politeness and sheer pluckiness. These characteristics generally make for a great family film. Look no further than Spielberg’s The BFG – he wrung every ounce of Britishness out of Dahl’s beloved book that he could. Not necessarily because it sells (although I imagine the studio liked the idea very much) but also because it’s warm, cuddly and easy on the eyes.
Working class grit
Although the British stereotype is forever revered globally as ‘posh’, working class stories make Britain great. Amateur perseverance in the face of adversity harks back to David and Goliath tales of old. The man vs THE MAN. Eddie the Eagle does this effortlessly, not only because the story is narratologically identical, but because the acting, script and even the cinematography combine to create that layer of ‘Boy done good’. Dexter Fletcher’s work is surprisingly composed – mainstream Ken Loach, to some degree. Point is, the film captures the source material well and refuses to accept a twisted, stereotypical perspective for the sake of monetary gain. UNITE, MY BRETHREN! *cough* *splutter* *Marxist propaganda*
So what if it’s a 21st century Cool Runnings – I say ‘good’.
Too few blockbusters (even popular indie’s) venture beyond a template. Eddie the Eagle plays safe, but a ‘safe’ that we haven’t seen for some time. It’s devoted to reliving a golden era of 80s feelgood plots, and isn’t that what it should evoke: the spirit of the story onscreen? Isn’t that… genius?
Not quite, but it’s damn close.
For once, here is a film that does what it says on the tin.