Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga

  • Directed by David Dobkin
  • June 26, 2020
  • Netflix

Two aspiring musicians get to represent their country in the Eurovision Song Contest.

I’m not a big fan of Will Ferrell. In fact, I’m not even sure how he got successful after he got Saturday Night Live. What may work in a short skit on the last surviving variety series does not work in a 90 minute to 2 or more presentation. Often he plays the man child who is too stupid or generally inept to see what is obvious.

Here his character of Lars is yet another delusional man-child so focused on competing in and winning the Eurovision Song Contest that he’s blind to everything else. Even the love and devotion of his musical partner Sigrit (Rachel McAdams). For her part Sigrit comes off as more than a bit pathetic having spent decades playing with and pining for a man who barely knows she exists.

I know it is a bit of a trope in romcoms that one person does not see the love before them but what we get here is more than a bit much. Sigrit has been praying for decades to elves to bring her and Lars together. Lars on his part appears to have avoided women his whole life.

Lars is well into middle age and still living with his father Erick (Pierce Brosnan) just doesn’t like Lars at all. I expected some reason to be given but it ultimately amounts to just because. And apparently he likes all the other illegitimate children he has fathered in the village more than his own child who loves him unconditionally. Why? Near as I can tell it is just because they’re not Lars.

I thought Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga was going to be some comical underdog story where the losers show that they are not now and never were losers. They would achieve victory by stepping up and succeeding more often than not. Much of their journey is powered by ridiculous coincidence and what is clearly the mechanizations of someone not interested in them winning. They never get to show their greatness or genuinely come into their own.

It’s not as if they ever get their moment to shine. Rather each performance is an incredible disaster and somehow they get the blame each and every time. I can understand the first time, but the number of instances where something terrible happens yet people put the blame on them strains credulity even in a comedy. Nobody even suspects possible nefarious involvement by someone else. And somehow these inept underdogs bring pride and joy to Iceland who has never come close to winning the Eurovision Song Contest.

The townsfolk that are their neighbors are mean and incredibly stupid. Why Sigrit and Lars feel a need to bring pride to this village that mocks and hates them is beyond me. They perform regularly at a local pub, and the only song that the crowd wants to hear is called Ja-Ja Ding Dong.

I don’t think the script is completely bad nor are the songs in a corporate pop way. Catchy but ultimately empty calories. And visually everything looks good. The main problem for me is Will Ferrell. He could easily be playing Ron Burgundy or Buddy the Elf or any number of other characters he has done in his film career. He doesn’t bring anything special to the part.

Whatever skill or magic Ferrell had has long since passed away and he just can’t do much with what he’s given here. He makes it adequate but not special. And for a couple that is supposed to wind up together there is absolutely no romantic chemistry to one extent or another between McAdams and Farrell. Given the trailers and clips that I saw prior to watching this, I thought they were siblings and not intended as a romantic couple.

And maybe it all really comes down to Will Ferrell. This is his baby that he willed into existence and it is not that good-especially when he is present. Maybe write. Maybe produce. But do not star. Hand it off. Have a third and very disinterested party take a look. This had potential but floundered largely because of him. The jokes are bad. The characters are stupid yet not in a funny way. And there is no investment in the finale.

Ultimately Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga is something that could’ve been weird and special brought down by the lead actor. The only reason to watch this is to have an idea of what Eurovision Song Contest is, but beyond that you can skip it.

Published by warrenwatchedamovie

Just a movie lover trying spread the love.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: