Eddie the Eagle Parent Review
Perhaps Eddie's greatest accomplishment is reminding the world that doing our personal best is a victory in its own right.
As a youngster, Michael “Eddie” Edwards wants only one thing from life—to compete in the Olympics. Of course many children have such dreams, but this little tike also has poor eyesight and bad knees. Yet this kid just won’t give up. Finally his leg brace comes off (although he keeps the thick glasses) and Eddie begins to search for a sport in which he can excel. After many failures with summertime activities, Eddie discovers skiing—and he’s pretty good. But he’s still not Olympic caliber. Putting his mind to work, Eddie discovers Britain hasn’t fielded a downhill ski team for decades and that means it’s a wide-open opportunity to qualify for the 1988 Olympic Games in Calgary, Canada.
Despite his parents’ mixed feelings, the now grown Eddie (Taron Egerton) “borrows” the family van and heads to a prominent ski jumping facility in Germany. Like a child arriving at a neighborhood playground, the determined duffer climbs up the takeoff ramp, perches himself atop the inrun and begins his speedy descent. All goes well from the smallish ramp, however when he moves onto the larger launch he crash lands, rolls and finds himself beaten up by the time he stops at the bottom.
Watching the spectacle from his snow-grooming machine is Bronson Peary (Hugh Jackman). Even though he’s angered at the Brit for tearing up his nicely smoothed runs, we aren’t surprised when the buff and handsome maintenance guy turns out to know a thing or two about competitive jumping—nor that he will eventually end up being Eddie’s mentor.
Eddie the Eagle is a fun movie that teens and older children will likely find engaging. However this script, based on a true story, does come with more than a few moguls that parents should be aware of. While he never admits it, Bronson is an alcoholic who sips from a flask that never leaves him. Inebriated in many scenes, his dependence on booze and cigarettes is an attempt to shield himself from past regrets. Mocking and bullying are also depicted, including a scene where Eddie, who is adamant about abstaining from alcohol, is coerced into getting drunk—a heartbreaking consequence follows. As well, the film contains unnecessary sexual innuendo and some profanities.
An underdog who is determined to take his dreams to the finish line, Eddie’s goal of entering the Olympics isn’t to win a medal. Instead it is to have a moment of glory that showcases his effort, and proves his many naysayers wrong. His enthusiasm and relentless pursuit is a great example for the many of us who aren’t gold medalists either. For me, Eddie’s greatest accomplishment is reminding the world that doing our personal best is a victory in its own right.Directed by Dexter Fletcher. Starring Hugh Jackman, Taron Egerton, Christopher Walken . Running time: 106 minutes. Updated June 14, 2016
Get details on profanity, sex and violence in Eddie the Eagle here.
Eddie the Eagle Parents Guide
Who mocks and bullies Eddie as a child? Does this verbal abuse quit when he becomes an adult? What affect does all the negative feedback have on the way Eddie sees himself? In what ways does it cripple him? In what ways does it propel him to keep trying? How does his parents’ reactions to his goals both help and hinder him? Have you ever had to deal with other people’s judgments of your abilities? How have those “labels” impacted your life?
Although their abilities are very different, Eddie and Bronson Peary both claim they know what it is like to be “written off”. Why? How does that feeling effect each of them? What do they do about it? Which of the two of them fights like a champion? What does it take for them to feel like their reputations have been redeemed?
Learn more about the real Michael Edwards (aka Eddie the Eagle).