‘Eddie the Eagle’ is this Generation’s ‘Rudy’

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Bronson Peary (Hugh Jackman) and Eddie Edwards (Taron Egerton) embrace the ski jump in 'Eddie the Eagle.'

Bronson Peary (Hugh Jackman) and Eddie Edwards (Taron Egerton) embrace the ski jump in ‘Eddie the Eagle.’

In a society where sarcasm, snark, and sniveling selfishness holds supreme and “hope” is just a filthy four-letter word that is constantly beat down by doubt and despair, every-once-in-awhile, like a seedling that springs through the concrete sidewalk, a beacon of hope stretches forth and as the world tries to weigh the hopeful down he/she stands up, smiles and says, “Is that all you’ve got?”

However, in the case of Michael “Eddie” Edwards, it wasn’t the question of, “Is that all you’ve got?” but instead a warm smile, a thumbs up and a can-do attitude that was almost childlike in determination without understanding limitations. How could he? He spent a year in the hospital wearing leg braces learning how to walk properly because of his bad knees and all he ever cared about once he got out was the Olympics.

The cliche goes, “Not every hero wears a cape,” and what’s more heroic than not only learning to walk again, but when every single person from your own father (at least in the movie) all the way to the British Olympic Committee tells you to stand down, get an average job, live an average life, just be average to then stand in their face and say, “No, it’s okay. I plan on doing this one thing I’ve dreamed of since I was 10. Thank you.”

So, how do you take on such a legendary British story of sportsmanship, heart and determination, standing up to the naysayers and follow your dream into a major motion picture? You hire director Dexter Fletcher and bring on Kingsman star Taron Egerton to take on the role.

Taron Egerton and the real Eddie Edwards.

Taron Egerton and the real Eddie Edwards.

“It’s a massive achievement for any sportsman. Who changes lanes at 22 years old and in a year adapts so quickly to another sport? It’s a fictionalized version of a true story, we are making entertainment, not a documentary. Some of the facts have been adjusted to help us tell a gripping story, but the essence is Eddie; he was always an athlete but they made him out to be some amateur who just showed up,” said Fletcher, who made the film with a budget within the mid-$20 millions.

Sadly, we found out that the British Olympic Committee made it virtually impossible for Edwards to return by creating the “Eddie Rule” to strictly govern the affairs of the Olympic team and be able to exclude those who have not lived up to their set standards. Essentially, Edwards doesn’t have the square-jawed look or demeanor of what they considered worthy to represent Great Britain.

“There is some sort of vindication for Eddie in the release of this film. So many positive upside things he achieved were overshadowed by old empire bigotry…he wasn’t there trying to become famous or no ulterior motive other than when he was a kid, this is what he wanted to do never gave up. He had this innocence and held on to that childhood dream without sacrificing his dream,” divulged Fletcher.

Eddie the Eagle is this generation’s Rudy. It’s a film that will tug at your heart-strings and become that must see, feel good family film. It may have taken 26 years to tell Edwards story, but it was worth the wait. In 2008, Edwards was honored by the International Olympic Committee at the 20th Eddie the Eagle Image 3anniversary of the Winter Games and in 2010, Edwards ran with the Olympic torch in Winnipeg, Canada.

Taron Egerton has gone from super spy in Kingsman to super inspiration in Eddie the Eagle. The actor transformed into Edwards and makes you believe in his child-like innocence. Hugh Jackman’s character, Bronson Peary is fictional, but he is the voice of the masses asking the hard questions of what truly drives Edwards to want to be an Olympian, which was always his goal; becoming the people’s champion was a bonus.

“The thing about it is, for many of us it’s easy to set yourself goals and not reach them so you change goals or track and navigate through disappointment. It’s a f**king struggle and there are a lot of things going against you and that goal. This film is a moment of light for the audience who will say, ‘shit I struggled and I did it,'” said Fletcher about the inspiration and hope the film gives.

Eddie the Eagle opens nationwide on February 26th, 2016, so mark your calendars from now because you will kick yourself if you miss this one.

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