February 28, 2016, - 5:08 pm

Wknd Box Office: Eddie the Eagle, Gods of Egypt, Triple 9

By Debbie Schlussel



One great, uplifting, fun new movie this weekend and the rest is crap.

* “Eddie The Eagle” – Rated PG-13 – Based on the true story of British Olympian Mark “Eddie” Edwards, this is a million times better than “Rudy” (which I didn’t like), to which it’s been compared. I really enjoyed this funny, entertaining, uplifting movie. Actors Taron Egerton and Hugh Jackman are well cast and do a great job making you believe. (I’m a fan of Egerton and voted for him as “Best Breakthrough Artist” in 2014, in Detroit Film Critics Society voting, after he starred in “Kingsman: The Secret Service”–read my review.) Plus there are a couple of brief cameos by the great Christopher Walken.

I wasn’t a big fan of the Olympics in 1988 because it was all downhill after the 1980 “Miracle on Ice.” After that, the Olympics were a corporatized, uber-commercial, pro-athletes-posing-as-amateurs bore. Plus, it’s the athletic event that, to date, refuses to memorialize the 1972 Munich massacre of the Israeli Olympic Team by Islamic terrorists. So, I was largely unaware of the story of “Eddie the Eagle,” reprised in this film. And it’s inspiring.

Eddie Edwards’ (Egerton) parents were told he’d never walk. But he overcame disability and illness to walk, despite spending a year in the hospital as a child. He was told he’d never run. But despite wearing a leg brace, he ran and the leg brace ultimately came off. He was told he’d never be an athlete, never make it to the Olympics, and so on. But, because of his will and his determination, he realized all of those dreams. He was taunted and mocked as a kid by adults and fellow kids alike, but he didn’t let it get to him. He continued to pursue his dreams. He raced other kids and ultimately beat them. He disregarded the naysaying and doubts of his working-class parents in a low-income British neighborhood. And he beat the odds. Despite the British Olympic Committee’s constantly created obstacles, Eddie overcame and prevailed. Sort of.

Eddie wanted to be in the Olympics, and he wanted to be a downhill skier. As a teen, he made it to the top 14 downhill skier finalists for the British Olympic Team in 1984. But officials on the British Olympic Committee were snobs and didn’t like him. Eddie was not only working class, but also eccentric and quirky. They didn’t like that and didn’t want him on the team. And they told him so. They told him he would never be on the British Olympic team.

So, after he was cut from the team, Eddie headed to Europe to train. Soon, he discovered ski jumping and decided to try it. Not possessing most of the usual inhibitions of others, he immediately began trying to ski down the daunting, dangerous giant slides off of which ski jumpers jump. A former American Olympic ski jumper (Jackman) sees him and eventually takes Eddie on as a protege, coaching him to the mocking and snickers of other Europeans who view him with disdain as they’ve been lifelong ski jumping athletes. They scoff at the odd and eccentric Eddie and tell him that they’ve trained since childhood. Since he hasn’t, he’ll never make it, they warn. But Eddie ignores them and keeps training. Eddie becomes the British record-holder in ski jumping, mostly because there aren’t any other British ski jumpers. But when he approaches the British Olympic Committee, they keep raising the length of jumps he must make for him to qualify for the Olympics, thinking he’ll never be able to make those jumps.

This is a great movie, not just because it’s inspiring, but also because it’s about ignoring your critics and naysayers and staying the course to achieve your dreams. Eddie did this, regardless of the attitudes and stinging comments of even those closest to him.

One other thing I loved about it, and you will, too, if you grew up in the ’80s, as I did: the soundtrack is chock full of ’80s-style, Vangelis-esque synthesizer music and even some Hall & Oates and Frankie Goes to Hollywood tunes. The soundtrack is that much more amazing when you consider that it was mostly composed and compiled by Matthew Margeson, who was born in 1980 and probably wouldn’t remember the music of that era’s movies.

As you may know, the International Olympic Committee made a new rule, referred to as the “Eddie the Eagle Rule,” to keep future Eddies out of the competition. Yet another reason to hate the Olympic Games.

While I think this movie ends at just the right moment, Eddie’s life after the Olympic Games is just as interesting, though also typical for most famous reality star types. He got a law degree, recorded hit songs in Finnish (a language he doesn’t speak), earned a lot of money and then filed for bankruptcy (he says a trust set up for him was robbed by those whom he entrusted), hawked insurance in commercials, and appeared on many reality sports competition television shows. He is now 52.

Regardless of what he did later in life, his achievement in ultimately reaching the Olympics and overcoming all the odds is not only inspiring, but a great lesson for kids–don’t let the scumbags get you down, something Eddie had to deal with even at the Olympics. I’ve been asked if this is something you can take your kids to see, and I say, “yes.” It does have some “sexual imagery,” in that Hugh Jackman tells Eddie to think he’s “making love” to Bo Derek when he lands his ski jump. But for teens, I think it’s fine, and younger kids probably won’t get that part, anyway.

Again, this is positive, uplifting, and fun. And a relaxing movie I’m happy to recommend. (If you are older than 60, this probably isn’t for you, so don’t whine to me in the comments about it. You were forewarned.)


Watch the trailer . . .

* “Gods of Egypt” – Rated PG-13 – I hated this movie. It’s ridiculous. It tries to mix the mythology of the Egyptian gods with Star Wars and comedy. And it doesn’t work. Egyptian gods who transform into alien-like monsters and transformer-style creatures? Absurd. Ditto for the flying snakes and the god Ra in outer space. The movie is just a mess and so stupid. Plus the movie, which is two hours, seems like five hours. It goes on and on and on and on. Just when you think it’s finally over, it keeps on going. There are like five endings to this thing.

The story: Horus (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), the Prince of Egypt and one of the gods, is set to be crowned by his father Osiris (Bryan Brown–a blast from the past, he’s the Australian guy who starred in the “F/X” movies of the ’80s). But Osiris’ evil brother, Set (Gerard Butler), swoops in with a large battalion of soldiers, kills Osiris and his wife, and takes over, making himself king. Set also takes out Horus’ eyes (and, therefore, his powers as a god) and banishes Horus to seclusion. Set also takes Horus’ love, Hathor, for himself.

Bek, a mortal who does not believe in the gods and was a doubter and skeptic of Horus and his family, changes his tune. After he sees the oppression of the people by Set, he sets out to help Horus regain power and fight Set. Set is building a giant tower, enslaving most of Egypt and killing more than 5,000 mortals to do this backbreaking hard labor.

In the meantime, Bek’s love, Zaya, is slain, and he desperately seeks to bring her back to life before she reaches the afterlife and it is too late. Bek braves a deadly obstacle-course maze to get back Horus’ eyes before Set takes them for himself, along with all of the powers of the gods he’s slain.

For all of the special effects, action, and fighting in this movie–and there is a lot of it–the film is a total bore. On top of that, the CGI (Computer Generated Images) are incredibly obvious. For women and men who want to see a lot of the opposite sex in scantily-clad clothing, this is for you. But other than that, there isn’t much here. The story isn’t interesting, and the movie is so over the top.

There are far better ways to waste ten-bucks-plus and two hours of your life you’ll never get back. Skipworthy.


Watch the trailer . . .

* “Triple 9” – Rated R – As I noted in my full review column on this, it’s a bloody, violent anti-Semitic, anti-Israel, anti-cop, anti-U.S. military mess and total bore. Again, read my complete review.


Related Posts with Thumbnails
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

8 Responses

Eddie the Eagle sounds like a worthwhile flick that should be seen. The International Olympic Committee is about as ethical as FIFA.

Worry on February 28, 2016 at 5:40 pm

Watching the “Gods” trailer I realized that all the studios must use the same CGI software – every movie of the last 10 years looks the same, the “fantastic” creatures/action all move the same, have the same gravity and physics.

What’s the point of action “fantasy” if you know and it look sall identically fake? Where the escape?

DS_ROCKS! on February 28, 2016 at 5:48 pm

“The Olympics were a corporatized, uber-commercial, pro-athletes-posing-as-amateurs bore.”

Not only that, but majorly corrupt. I’ll pass.

Tommy Thomas on February 28, 2016 at 11:11 pm

I take it you didn’t like Triple 9 😉

That’s the worst rating I have ever seen you give out.

Karen on February 28, 2016 at 11:37 pm

I saw “Eddie the Eagle” the other night. Wonderful film. No matter what the sport, there’s always a great story somewhere.

Primetime on February 29, 2016 at 12:21 am

All I can say is thank goodness for Debbie”s movie reviews. She braves the awful ones for hours to save us from it!
So far I have always agreed with her assessments and so enjoyed some movies I would never have watched.

Crazycatkid on February 29, 2016 at 8:34 am

Eddie “The Eagle” Edwards had a great life story and athletics career. Eddie The Eagle may be an entertaining, well-made movie. Unfortunately, the only thing the two have in common is the name. Yes biopics are not documentaries and hence use some artistic license to tell an entertaining story – and often to also advance an agenda – but in this case even the subject of the movie disavows it by stating that 90% of its content never happened. Instead of telling a legitimate story, the filmmakers chose to use Edwards to remake “Cool Runnings”, another movie based on the 1988 Olympics but depicted few real events or people. The difference is that where Cool Runnings never pretended to be anything other than a John Candy Disney comedy, “Eddie The Eagle” is being marketed as a serious movie, and as such being taken for one.

Another issue is that “Eddie The Eagle” continues the trend of making heroes out of either geeky underdogs or morally suspect antiheroes. Males who are well-rounded and capable, superior intellectually or physically, confident and with good moral and mental makeup? More likely to be the bad guy if he is depicted at all. Hollywood is now preoccupied with stories of people overcoming societal barriers or their own flaws instead of being the best that humanity has to offer. It is why Daniel Craig endlessly apologizes for the James Bond character – both while portraying him in film and promoting it in the press – and why Hollywood was unable to do anything with Superman but make him more like Wolverine.

tom.thumb on February 29, 2016 at 10:30 am

Haven’t yet seen it, but at 67 I remember Eddie the Eagle very well — inspiring, of course, but also astonishing that he made it so far in such a difficult (and dangerous) sport. Typical of the “Olympics” that they try to exclude anyone they don’t think is “right” for the games — like you, after 1980’s Miracle on Ice, which was truly a stunning moment (and is well-remembered by yours truly), it was pretty much all downhill (pardon the expression) for both the Winter and Summer games thereafter, with a few exceptions — Sarah Hughes in 2002 at Salt Lake City comes immediately to mind . . .

jc15 on February 29, 2016 at 9:11 pm

Leave a Reply

* denotes required field