Story

The story in Eddie the Eagle begins in 1973 when 10-year-old Eddie Edwards (Tom Costello Jr) has a dream that one day he’ll compete in the Winter Olympics. Unfortunately Eddie isn’t the athletic type. He wears a full leg brace and thick glasses, is skinny and uncoordinated, and is never chosen in sports teams. Despite the obstacles he faces, Eddie never lets go of his Olympics dream. Eddie’s mum (Jo Hartley) thinks Eddie is determined, but Eddie’s father (Keith Allen) thinks he’s obsessive.

A decade later, Eddie (Taron Egerton) is still chasing his dream. He no longer wears a leg brace but hasn’t made it onto the British Winter Olympics ski team, despite working very hard. Eddie is about to give up when he suddenly realises that a loophole in the rules means that all he has to do to compete is successfully complete one qualifying jump in a competition.

Eddie goes to Germany to begin his training at a ski resort. There he’s befriended by Petra (Iris Berben), a café owner, and Bronson Peary (Hugh Jackman), a former US ski jumping champion. Worried that Eddie will kill himself on the ski jump, Bronson reluctantly agrees to coach him. 

Themes

Olympic competition; social class and prejudice; alcoholism

Violence

Eddie the Eagle has some violence. For example:

  • A man raises his fists and challenges another man to a fight. Without warning the second man punches the first man in the face. The first man falls back unconscious.
  • Several scenes show verbal arguments between a skier and officials, and a skier and his coach.
  • In several scenes Eddie feels excluded and discriminated against because of his socio-economic background. 

Content that may disturb children

Under 5
Children in this age group might be upset by scenes of ski jumping taken from the skier’s point of view in Eddie the Eagle. And they might find scenes of skiing accidents and injuries particularly upsetting. For example:

  • Archival film footage of an Olympic ski jumper shows the jumper crashing and tumbling down the slope. There is the sound of bones breaking. When the jumper stops, his legs are sticking out at odd angles, and we hear that he has suffered severe injuries.
  • In one scene Eddie sits on the ready bar of a 70 m ski jump and asks the attendant to give him a push. He plummets down the ramp and flies through the air but lands very badly. He groans and paramedics rush out with a stretcher and carry him away. Later he lies in a hospital bed wearing a neck brace with bruising and cuts on his face. He crashes at least 10 times and gets other injuries.

From 5-8
In addition to the scenes mentioned above, Eddie the Eagle has some scenes that could disturb children in this age group. For example, in several scenes young Eddie wears a full-length leg brace and we hear that as a young boy he had bad knees.

From 8-13
Younger children in this group might be worried by some of the scenes mentioned above.

Over 13
Nothing of concern

Sexual references

Eddie the Eagle has some mild sexual references and innuendo. For example:

  • After sleeping in a ski café’s storeroom, a man is woken by the cafe’s owner who says, ‘Back in the past I would have been in here with you’. After offering him a job and a place to sleep at night she says, ‘And maybe sometimes I will visit you’.
  • A woman talks about a man being kicked off an Olympics ski team because of drunkenness and sexual activities.
  • A man tells another man that he shouldn’t be crashing into mountains – he should be crashing into the ladies.
  • While explaining how to perform a ski jump, a coach tells Eddie to approach the jump as though he were making love. The coach describes downhill slopes as foreplay and the jump as opening a gate for peaceful release. When Eddie doesn’t understand, the coach acts out an orgasm with facial gestures, moaning and a shout at the end. 

Alcohol, drugs and other substances

Eddie the Eagle shows some use of substances. For example:

  • Throughout the movie Bronson is described as a drunk. From when he first wakes in the morning, throughout the day and into the night, he drinks from a hip flask. One scene shows him taking a swig from his hip flask and lighting up a cigarette before speeding down a 90 m ski jump. In another scene he drinks from an almost full bottle of bourbon.
  • Adults smoke throughout the movie.
  • People drink socially at a café.
  • A café owner talks about German beer being stronger than English beer, saying that English people get drunk easily on German beer.
  • A man maliciously tricks Eddie into drinking five shot glasses of strong alcohol although Eddie protests that he doesn’t drink. When we next see him he is lying unconscious in a laundry trolley.

Nudity and sexual activity

Eddie the Eagle has some nudity. For example, one scene shows several nude men in a sauna with their genitals obscured by wooden buckets and seating. A man wearing shorts walks in and exclaims, ‘Oh God, nude’. One of the nude men suggestively puts his hand on the shoulder of the short-wearing man, who backs away and leaves the sauna quickly.

Product placement

Brand-name ski equipment is displayed and used in Eddie the Eagle.

Coarse language

Eddie the Eagle has some coarse language and name-calling. 

Ideas to discuss with your children

Eddie the Eagle is a feel-good comedy. It’s based on a true story about an underdog who refuses to give up his dream of competing in the Olympics. It’s full of positive messages about believing in yourself, following your dreams and never giving up.

Because of its sexual references, alcohol use and smoking, and some possibly disturbing scenes, we don’t recommend this movie for children under 11 years. And we do recommend parental guidance for children aged 11-13 years.

You could talk with your children about how people take advantage of Eddie’s apparent innocence and how he triumphs in the end. You could also talk about Bronson’s alcoholism and Eddie’s role in helping Bronson to stop drinking.