Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga (2020)



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Ja Ja Ding Dong (Ding dong); prepare to get that stuck in your head. It has become a bit of a weapon in my house since seeing Eurovision.

Will Ferrell is back to writing oddball comedies with overly long compound titles. Unlike Holmes and Watson, Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga is watchable. Ferrell plays man child, Lars, with dreams of winning the Eurovision contest. If you are unfamiliar with Eurovision it is a music contest with one musical act per country. Do yourself a favor and check out the winning act for 2006 from Finland Lordi.

Sigrit, Rachel McAdams, plays Lars’ partner in music who is desperate for a romantic relationship. Lars is so focused on getting onto Eurovision that he is blind to Sigrit’s romantic desires. Lars is also a constant disappointment to his father, Erick, played by Pierce Brosnan. The cast includes many actual contestants from Eurovision that American audiences likely will not recognize. If you are a Eurovision fan you will appreciate the cast and ensemble music numbers.

Like any Will Ferrell man-boy movie, the jokes tire out quickly. I wanted to hate this movie because it was just so stupid. Around two-thirds of the way through the movie, I found myself enjoying it unexpectedly. The over-the-top music numbers helped keep me interested. McAdams seems to have real chemistry with Ferrell, so I was pulled into the love story of constant disappointment.

The movie has a run time of just over two hours which is a big ask for a comedy like this. The movie was released on Netflix but had been scheduled for a theatrical release. I am glad I did not pay to see this in the theater; it is a great movie to watch at home. You may pick up a second screen at times, but you will focus back on the movie for the best parts naturally.

The biggest star of the movie is Husavik, Iceland. I was fortunate enough to have visited Iceland. The drive from the airport to the capital of Reykjavik is breathtaking. The rest of the island is even more awe-inspiring. The shots of small harbor town Husavik made me want to go back.

Eurovision Song Contest does not break any new ground for Will Ferrell. He delivers a decent product despite being overly long. The absurdity of the Eurovision contest is dialed up, but not by much. Pausing the movie to do some research can make the jokes funnier. This is a love letter to the contest.

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©2019 by Sean Whitehurst