Film Review: Eurovision Song Contest – The Story of Fire Saga

Netflix has released the much-anticipated comedy Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga. The film stars Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams as two Icelandic singers who are given the chance to represent their country at the Eurovision Song Contest.

Ferrell co-wrote the script with frequent collaborator Andrew Steele as well as serving as a producer. David Dobkin also directs – previous work including Wedding Crashers and Shanghai Knights. The premise of the film is based on the long running TV music competition, The Eurovision Song Contest.

Created in 1956, the contest includes nations from across Europe competing against one another to perform an original song for a live TV performance. Memorable past winners include Sweden’s ABBA in 1974 and Switzerland’s Céline Dion in 1988.

The parody is an underdog story in which Ferrell and McAdams have to overcome many obstacles. No one in their native Iceland believes in them or supports their dream of becoming Eurovision stars. Together they have no support from their country and Ferrell must prove to his strict father, Pierce Brosnan, that he is talented and can make Iceland proud.

Beautiful cinematography highlights the natural beauty of Iceland and Scotland. It’s a shame that the comedy by Ferrell and McAdams falls flat at some moments in the film. There are a few chuckles every now and again, but the laughs are sporadic. Think Ferrell in Holmes & Watson rather than Blades of Glory. Ferrell is too high energy and McAdams is too low. The combination falls flat and there is just no chemistry.

The funniest parts of the film were the moments of surprise. The first Icelandic contestant auditioning was a self-proclaimed modern Viking who did some kind of beat poetry with a techno beat which was hilarious.

Dan Stephens and Graham Norton were fabulous and a perfect representation of Eurovision. Stephens was comically entertaining in his character and Norton brought his wonderful whit as usual. These were the moments that made the film bearable. The best moments from the main cast were shown in the trailer and sadly this made the film a bit of a disappointment.

Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga could’ve been a lot more enjoyable if they cut down the running time by 30 minutes. The film stretches out for over 2 hours and it certainly feels like it. There are a lot of moments that are just awkward and where the scenes feel dragged out.

Overall, the film is okay. If you like cheesy comedies or the Eurovision Song Contest, then this film is for you. The cameos from Eurovision winners Conchita Wurst and Alexander Rybak were a nice little detail that fans will enjoy. Unfortunately, if you’re expecting a knock-out Ferrell comedy then you’ll be dissatisfied. It’s a mediocre comedy that relies too much on gimmicks, but worth watching if you’re looking for something new to watch on Netflix.

Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga is available to watch on Netflix.

By Charlie Vogelsang

Feature image: Netflix

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