Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga has an interesting setting. The movie takes place at the annual song competition of the same name. The Netflix comedy stars Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams as Icelandic duo entered in the contest. No one gives the two much of a chance to succeed, including the people of their own country.
For better or worse, this is not much different than most Ferrell comedies. This means there is plenty of wacky hijinx and physical comedy. There is also a story about self discovery. Whether a person likes Fire Saga depends on what they think of Ferrell’s works. One thing that even fans will notice, is this a toned down affair for the Anchorman star. Fire Saga is long at a little over two hours. Still, it does not seem to follow through on all its jokes. Many moments have a beginning and a punch line but lack a build. They are still funny; there is just a feeling there should have been more.
Director David Dobkin does an excellent job of catching Fire Saga’s atmosphere. There are great set pieces and musical numbers that have a European feel to them. The opening Fire Saga video looks like something Ace of Base would have shot during their heyday. It is not the type of authenticity excepted to be found in such a silly movie.
There are a surprising amount of jokes at the expense of gay men in the movie. They are never offensive, but it is noticeable. For example, there is a reporter who is a gay stereotype straight out of the 1980s. There is also a reveal that seems like something out of one of Ferrell’s earliest efforts. Both are played for laughs and neither are hateful. It is odd to see, however.
The strongest moments are towards the end. Ferrell shows less restraint and there are more laughs to be had. There is an air of spontaneity the rest of Fire Saga lacks. This is unsurprising. Will Ferrell has been a part of some of the most quotable comedies of all time. Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga may not go down with his classics, but it is a fun watch.
Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga premieres June 26 on Netflix.