Guess I feel in better company that Will Ferrell, who co-wrote and starred in, this film didn’t know very much about the long-running Eurovision Song Contest either. So much upon researching that he thought it would make a “great” movie.
“I watched mesmerised for the entire three hours. Ironically, that year a Swede won: Charlotte Nilsson. I was just blown away by the spectacle, the camp. Everything you guys [in the UK] are used to, we didn’t have anything like that, in America. I literally went, ‘That would make a great movie.’”“It’s kind of a funny story…” Will Ferrell on his Eurovision movie for Netflix
This film did succeed in making me more interested in watching the contest. I enjoyed American Idol, The Voice and other singing contests. This contest seems to have the focus of the world outside of America, which is intriguing.
Let’s talk more about the details of the film, but first a SPOILER warning …
… you’ve been warned, SPOILERS ahead …
It’s all about the music, yes?
If you like the music played during this contest, that will increase your interest in the overall production. Most of the music I didn’t care for which made it harder for me to get into a film which has very musical-like origins. I did enjoy the opening keyboard scene with Ferrell in the viking (?) outfit. Is he singing by making blow-like sounds? LOL. Yeah, that’s funny.
A golden opportunity for Will Ferrell to go all cowbell was missed. It would have been hilarious to see his Icelandic character use a cowbell. This would pay homage to one of Ferrell’s funniest comedic moments.
The prescription for Eurovision is, literally, more cowbell, baby!
My goodness, the length … for a comedy!
Comedy movies are not supposed to be this long. They broke the rules, which I would applaud if the story deserved it, but this did not.
Some scenes were funny, but too little too late
The hamster wheel scene was funny. Alas, what few scenes were funny were scattered apart and couldn’t hold the rest together.
James Bond as a crusty Icelandic father? No thanks
While it has humor value as described in that bolded headline, Pierce Brosnan didn’t make a good, crusty father character. Firstly, the character was criminally one-dimensional. Second, he was just too cruel. Why is Lars trying to earn this guy’s affections throughout his entire life? There was a setup and rationale, but it didn’t work for this viewer. I would rather see the character as more of a Mr. Burns from The Simpsons type character. I mean, if we’re going for parody, why not go all out. This movie doesn’t go far enough, like if it was an Adam Sandler movie, it would have gone all the way. This plays it safe too much.
I did like the fishing boat scene where Brosnan’s character finally cracks and admits that he’s proud of Lars.
The contest results scene was entertaining
Think my favorite part of the film were when the Eurovision contest results were read and Will Ferrell had already skipped out, thinking Iceland would never get any points. The reaction to the crowd and audience. This scene made slogging through the rest of the movie worthwhile. Still don’t recommend it, but at least this scene showed it was all leading somewhere productive.
Reviews By Others
What are other movie reviewers saying about Eurovision Song Contest: The Story Of Fire Saga?
- tensecondsfromnow / film-authority.com: ” At a time when the pandemic has managed to divide the world into competing, suspicious countries, Eurovision Song Contest invites us to laugh at our own divisions; it’s funny, the songs are on point, and the whole genial package earns a ‘Jaja Ding Dong’ from this laughter-starved critic.”
- Alex Finch / Comedy To Watch: “Writers Will Ferrell and Andrew Steele have clearly done a lot of research in to the contest and are aware of it’s naff reputation among many, even if in many ways it’s a little too respectful of it.”
- Alex Wiggan / It’s A Stampede! “…is exactly what audiences need right now – two hours of pure escapism. It won’t win awards for originality, but in a year seriously devoid of humour, this movie knows its audience and ensures a good time for all, with a dash of ABBA thrown in for good measure.”
- badblokebob (3/5): “Sporadically funny; often dated; with tired and rehashed routines; longer than Alexander Lemtov’s penis; and surprisingly emotional at the end… Actually, maybe The Story of Fire Saga is like Eurovision after all.”
- Bouquets & Brickbats: “I have to admit I am mightily entertained by ESCTSOFS and even feel somewhat moved by its final act. I was also delighted to note that much of the action is set in my home city of Edinburgh (it’s the host for the Eurovision final). Furthermore it’s good to see Ferrell back on some kind of form. If I’m honest, it’s a long time since any of his efforts have made me laugh.”
- Cameron Black / The Blog Complainer: “Sometimes I need something pretty average to let my brain relax and not be challenged by what I’m watching. But at the end of the day if you enjoyed yourself while watching the movie then it must be worthy enough to call it a good film.”
- Chelichan Blog: “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.”
- Film Carnage (7/10): “Many may not gel with its offbeat comedy and peculiar nature but for those that do, it will provide a much-needed brief respite from the world’s current troubles. Trying to capture the insanity that is Eurovision is a tall task and while Dobkin’s take may be indulgent and clumsy at times, it does a brilliant job of instilling the spirit of the contest.”
- Hannah Wales / The World Of Celebrity: “It may be tonally all over the place and it didn’t give me those much-needed laugh-out-loud moments, but I defy you not to have a smile plastered across your face watching some of these bonkers performances.”
- HCMovieReviews: “The comedy doesn’t always hit the mark but there’s heart to get wrapped up in certain points and come the grand finale sequence, a song dowsed in Nordic roots becomes way more impacting and possibly stirring that I’d have imagined.”
- luisreviewer / World Of Entertainment: “I can recommend the film for a Friday night if you are at home and looking for a good movie to see on Netflix, it is funny and sweet in some ways.”
- Movies Unchained: “There’s an underlying chaotic brilliance to this film that we simply don’t see all that often, and while it’s certainly a film that has its flaws, that’s to be expected from a film focused on the cultural embodiment of high-camp, with Eurovision Song Contest being an absolute blast in every conceivable way, and an earnest work of comedy that is as bizarre as it is thoroughly entertaining, and absolutely just a bundle of unbridled joy from beginning to end.”
- Often Off Topic: “This is a movie most will scoff at, but I found it a clever mix of pure comedy and feel good, follow your dreams and it paid off. It opens with a fantastically funny musical number and then takes a while to find it’s feet, but after the first half-hour I was sold.”
- TL;DR Movie Reviews: “It tries to aim for that Eurovision absurdity, but Fire Sage mostly missed the target.”
- Trailer Trashed: “There was a lot of forced comedy, that the film could have done without, and Will Ferrell is basically playing the same character he has been playing for the last ten years, just with a funny accent. But there were some great moments in this film.”
- Dan Meier / Screen Goblin: “Ferrell seems to think a silly accent (literally everyone in the film does one) will make up for the nul-points script and no-point story, padded out to two hours with Eurovision cameos – including Sweden’s Loreen, Austria’s Conchita Wurst and ABBA’s Pierce Brosnan.”
- Doc / EYG / Embrace Your Geekness: “There are a few moments of fun. Of course, there are also boat explosions, Icelandic elves, shots at America tourists, insane driving, and an oversized hamster wheel. So much idiocy and not enough laughs from it.”
- Darren / The M0vie Blog: “There’s a better movie somewhere within The Story of Fire Saga, waiting to get out, but it’s ultimately suffocated by a template that has been done before and much better.”
- Ferdosa Abdi / Screen Queens: “Maybe just maybe, Will Ferrell is losing his touch. I don’t want to be the kind of person who denigrates the work of a comedic genius, especially one who truly still has a lot to give, however, this is a far cry from Ferrell’s previous writing efforts.”
- Frankie Gilmore / DiscussingFilm: “In the end, it’s hard to know what to make of such a strange movie that is at once a 2-hour ad for a real-life competition and also a sweet little story of two funny people singing catchy songs and falling in love. In a way, there’s something almost comforting about it. You’ll laugh a little, tap your feet more than you might expect, and maybe come away feeling a little happier than you did before.”
- Geeks of Color / Rihaana Stark: “Overall, it’s hard to recommend this movie. It’s two hours of tired jokes that ultimately lead to nowhere. If anything, just check out the soundtrack that comes out Friday as well”
- Katya the Doofus, Kniga the Worm: “All in all, this is not worth your time and energy, but at least it’s a Netflix movie so you don’t have to spend additional funds in order to watch it. Your time would be much better spent watching Blades of glory, an actual comedy about another ridiculous event – figure skating and a great Will Ferrell performance.”
- Let’s talk about movies: “I just wish the film itself had more funny jokes up its sleeve. I’m sure the idea of having two goofballs participate in the Eurovision Contest sounded like a good bet at first. Too bad it didn’t turn out better.”
- MoodyB / Cinema Cynic: “…the film’s overlong running time and lacklustre storytelling means it is unlikely to have many redeeming features.“
- Orca Flotta: “…wasn’t a totally bad film, as was entertaining and not boring. Even charming in parts. And that already means a lot for American-made movies of today. But it could’ve been so much better, with more bite and anarchistic nonsense. Fire Saga could’ve been a second (or third in this regard) Anchorman. But it missed that particular mark by a country mile.”
- writergurlny: “The inspirational half of the film works just fine. But the absurdist comedy falls flat on it’s face. I should have been laughing out loud, but I wasn’t.”
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