Eddie the Eagle (Ultra HD 4K Blu-ray)

July 7, 2016 6 Min Read

Review by: Matt Brighton and Matt Malouf

Plot: What’s it all about?

As a young kid with a brace on his leg, Eddie (Tom Costello) wants to become an Olympian when he grows up. He’s supported by his mother, but his father tries to talk him out of it. Obviously, he doesn’t listen to his father, and pursues this dream anyway. The adult Eddie (Taron Egerton) continues to train, and eventually begins trying ski-jumping. Eventually, he’s discovered by coach Bronson (Hugh Jackman). Eddie begins training with Bronson for the 1988 Olympics. I’ll confess that when I saw the previews for Eddie that I swore it starred Daniel Radcliffe in the title role. I know that’s a rare comment, but I was convinced that, under a wig and some heavy makeup that was in fact, him. While I don’t think Egerton and Radcliffe favor each other, it just caught me off guard. Still, Egerton does a good job in the lead role. It’s the film that ultimately lets him down.

While based on true events, I can’t comment on how truthful the film stays to the facts, but I found that irrelevant. Hollywood has a way of taking fact-based stories and fabricating them to their advantage. While one could call the film inspirational, it’s also riddled with clichés and endless scenes of Eddie being trained and told he’s not good enough. Cool Runnings told a fairly similar story about 4 bobsledders, but it was also a lot more lighthearted and fun than this film. Not that this film had to be that way to succeed, but Eddie seems so pedestrian. The film is well acted, though Jackman isn’t asked much here, but there’s very little that held my interest. I think it’s that the film lacks a strong conflict that it feels a bit too slight. There is a good message here, I suppose, but it’s buried under clichés and repetitiveness. Some viewers will give in to this film, but I couldn’t.

Video: How’s it look?

There are some films that seem to be destined for Ultra HD and others that, well, don’t seem to make much sense. Eddie the Eagle is a new film and the Ultra HD/4K format new as well, so maybe Fox is using any and all well-reviewed films to help spur its growth. But if you look at the titles that are available, there are a lot of action and science-fiction films and this one just seems to be…out of place. Having just watched the Blu-ray version, there wasn’t much of a noticeable difference in these two. Both offer a very stunning 2.39:1 HD transfer with a bit of an edge to the 4K version with its improved color depth and range. But this is really only noticeable when looking at the two in an A/B comparison (and I highly doubt anyone will be doing that). Is the Ultra HD version better in regard to looks? Yes. Is it worth its own 4K disc? I don’t think so.

Audio: How’s it sound?

Like the video presentation, there is something “new” when it comes to the audio as we get a Dolby Atmos track that replaces the DTS HD Master Audio track found on the Blu-ray. As is the case with all Atmos tracks, there is a down sampled Dolby TrueHD version to boot. But again, I kept scratching my head asking what the major difference in quality was. Does the Atmos track sound better than the DTS HD Master Audio counterpart? Yes. A little. But still, this isn’t a movie that screams for audio quality and I feel that this HD track might be a bit wasted. Still, vocals are strong and crisp, the Atmos track does make the most of what it has been given and I doubt anyone will be let down by the way this sounds. Still, I have to ask myself – with so many other Fox titles out there that would make much better use of the Ultra HD audio and video features – why give this one the green light?

Supplements: What are the extras?

  • Let The Games Begin: Soaring with Eddie the Eagle – This three part documentary is composed of smaller featurettes that encompass the making of the film, the casting and some of the stunts involved.
    • All or Nothing: The Hero’s Heart
    • An Unlikely Friendship: Eddie & Peary
    • Attitude is Altitude: Filming the Ski Jumps
  • Still Gallery
  • Theatrical Trailer

The Bottom Line

It’s hard to pick on a film that clearly has its heart in the right place, but Eddie just doesn’t have enough to say to make it essential viewing. It’s not a terrible film, but also not a crucial one, or one that leaves a lasting impression. I can’t advise more than a rental for those curious, but even that is a bit more than this deserves. On a side note, I have to wonder about the timing of this film? 2016 is an “off year” for the Winter Olympics and given that the events seen in this movie took place in 1988, might it not have been better from a marketing perspective to launch this (pun fully intended) in either 2014 or 2018 to coincide with the Winter Olympics?

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