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‘Eddie the Eagle’ Flies With Critics, at Varying Altitudes

The drama, opening this Friday, currently has a score of 73 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. Critics’ opinions vary, but are generally upbeat

If you’re not feeling an action drama like “Triple 9” or a fantastical film about Egyptian dieties like “Gods of Egypt” this weekend, but are craving an inspirational, feel-good film, critics agree “Eddie the Eagle” might be the film for you.

“Eddie the Eagle,” starring Taron Egerton and Hugh Jackman, is the story of Eddie Edwards, a British underdog ski jumper who became the first competitor to represent Great Britain in the Olympic category in 1988.

Accumulating a positive score of 73 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, critics have called the drama “inspiring” and an “entertaining underdog story.”

TheWrap’s film critic Alonso Duralde agrees, writing, “As cinema, it’s an avalanche of feel-good clichés, but as an audience-pleasing machine, it relentlessly pursues its goal and will probably win over viewers who surrender to it.”

See 9 of the best reviews below.

Ann Hornaday, The Washington Post

“Like its wholesome, good-natured brethren ‘Miracle’ and ‘Cool Runnings’ (which gets a clever shout-out), ‘Eddie the Eagle’ leaves viewers buoyed by satisfactions unique to classic come-from-behind stories. Even when it’s as ungainly and cravenly audience-pleasing as its protagonist, it soars.”

Eric Eisenberg, CinemaBlend.com:
“Looking back, the 1990s was a great era for family sports movies – with the release of not just the aforementioned ‘Cool Runnings’ and ‘The Mighty Ducks,’ but also ‘The Sandlot,’ ‘Rudy,’ and more – and ‘Eddie The Eagle’ feels more in tradition with those films than anything we’ve seen in a while. It’s not to be taken too seriously, but it definitely succeeds as a silly, entertaining underdog story, so understand that going in, and you will have fun.”

Joe McGovern, Entertainment Weekly
“British ski jumper Eddie Edwards placed last in two events at the 1988 Olympics. Yet he instantly became a beloved folk hero for epitomizing the Games’ inspirational just-do-it decree. And the movie version of his life, fittingly, is a massive vat of hot cocoa with a mountain of whipped cream on top–sweet and warm and made with a ­mission to satisfy everyone who takes a sip.”

Brian Truitt, USA Today:
“A British Olympic ski jumper whose heart outweighed his talent gets the biopic treatment with ‘Eddie the Eagle,’ a delightfully feel-good though hopelessly fluffy affair directed by Dexter Fletcher that slaloms around complete hokum thanks to a pair of winning performances.”

Simi Horwitz, Film Journal International:
“‘Eddie the Eagle’ is the perfect antidote (momentary though it may be) to those moviegoers who know all too well that working hard and following your dreams is usually another opportunity for wheel-spinning.”

Steve Persall, Tampa Bay Times:
“Somehow, the loose ends fit together, as rag-tag plucky as Eddie himself. What ‘Eddie the Eagle’ has that last week’s more historically accurate ‘Race’ didn’t is charm to spare, especially in Egerton’s performance. Neither movie is gold medal material, but in the race for entertainment, Eddie beats Jesse by a mile.”

Matt Prigge, Metro:
“‘Eddie the Eagle’ is the British ‘Rudy,’ which is to say it’s a true life inspirational tale done more as a light, cheery comedy instead of an angsty drama. It’s a by-the-numbers underdog affair, but one that’s both more engaging and even deceptively smart. Where ‘Rudy’ merely meant to uplift, ‘Eddie the Eagle’ — perhaps accidentally — winds up forcing us to question our notion of greatness and achievement. It’s a secretly, or maybe inadvertently, interesting film that runs in the face of the notion that the only people worth making a movie about are the best.”

Russ Fischer, Indie Wire:
“‘Eddie The Eagle’ is a buoyant film, like ‘Rocky’ on skis but a lot lighter — it’s all about going the distance, not achieving a big win. Fletcher layers in nostalgic jokes and references (Eddie’s victory dancing looks rather like Homer Simpson, and Bronson coaches using a ‘sex with Bo Derek’ metaphor half the audience won’t get) even as he omits some details to compress Eddie’s history and make him out to be even less of a viable competitor than he was in real life. ‘Eddie the Eagle’ is as appealing and fluffy as a new pile of dry snow. The factual changes may bother the real Eddie, but this movie keeps its eye strictly on the image of achieving a thing no one expects you to achieve. ‘I love ski jumping,’ Eddie says, ‘almost as much as I love proving people wrong.'”

Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times:
“‘Eddie the Eagle’ is a fictionalized, unapologetically sentimental, undeniably inspirational story about an undersized, overachieving, irritatingly upbeat underdog who was doggedly determined to make the British Olympics as a ski jumper, even though everyone from his own father to his peers to Olympic officials told him he was a dreamer and it was never going to happen.”