There’s a point to which biopics can go play on such a by-the-numbers route, suddenly it makes the subject uninteresting. Eddie the Eagle is exactly this sort of biopic, in which we have the story of its titular athlete, going through specific trials within his life to achieve what he is setting out for, and in the end, we already know he is triumphant. Where does Eddie the Eagle commit more of a sin? It’s a very average film that could have been that, but with the very nature of its averageness, there’s also a level to which it comes off as manipulative.
Eddie the Eagle has all the beats of the feel-good sports comedy-drama. You have the lead character as a kid, chasing his own dreams, and in the end, triumphing. What makes Eddie the Eagle different? It’s not really even a film that’s trying to be different, which is coming to its own fault mainly because the route is so familiar to the point it’s merely boring. Nothing really new is offered under the surface, even the “true story” aspect can’t hide how Eddie the Eagle is playing too much along the rather familiar notes and it creates a sense of predictability that does not sit well with my own sensibilities.
While I’m not going to deny that there’s a specific charm left behind from the performances of Hugh Jackman and Taron Egerton, it seems like there’s not so much that Eddie the Eaglereally has going for it other than the over-reliance on their bonding. To the film’s credit, Hugh Jackman and Taron Egerton do carry the source of energy driving Eddie the Eagle as it moves along, because they offer great performances and great chemistry with one another, but the inherent problem I’m finding is that it seems to rely on their bonding too much, Eddie the Eagle just forgets about what else is necessary in order to have the audiences in for a surprise by following the familiarity.
Now I know this may come off as harsh, but with the supposed “cheese” coming in as a means of giving the film its own feel-good attitude, this is where my biggest problems come in. Because of the fact that when you consider how Eddie the Eagle is indeed a biopic, it’s a bit insulting to see a film that would go down to rely on a cheap method of creating emotional manipulation in order to get the audiences much closer to what they’re watching. None of it ever really seemed to ring as charming, instead the only thing I had been induced to was simply a rolling of my own eyes because it didn’t seem to make Eddie stand apart from others who were training to achieve the best in the sport, we just know he’s already going to win and it’s a boring path to follow, which is quite unbearably common for sports films.
I would have liked the film much better had I actually felt something for Eddie, but as it stands, Eddie the Eagle is a cheaply manipulative biopic that does not even attempt in any way to even stand out amongst other films of the sort. The overly familiar nature just puts me off because I’ve no doubt that if I have seen so many other films with this path, Eddie the Eagle will soon be forgotten amidst many other feel-good sports films that don’t even attempt to stand out. It’s sure to ring as charming for some, but on my end, most of it came off as trite.
Watch the trailer right here.
All images via Fox.
Directed by Dexter Fletcher
Screenplay by Sean Macaulay, Simon Kelton
Produced by Adam Bohling, David Reid, Rupert Maconick, Valerie Van Galder, Matthew Vaughn
Starring Taron Egerton, Hugh Jackman, Christopher Walken
Release Year: 2016
Running Time: 105 minutes