By Adam Ray Palmer
During this time of no cinema (it’s been 8 years now, can you believe it?), Netflix has really saved us with debuting brand-new series and movies throughout the Summer.
One of those films released was The Story of Fire Saga, a Eurovision Song Contest picture starring Will Ferrell, Rachel McAdams and Dan Stevens.
Will Ferrell is back with another wacky comedy. He anchors this movie as well as being a co-writer, so let’s be honest, everyone knows what kind of film this was always going to be. The Story of Fire Saga focus on aspiring musicians Lars (Ferrell) and Sigrit (Rachel McAdams) who are given the opportunity to represent their country at the world's biggest song competition, the Eurovision Song Contest. This is finally their chance to prove that any dream worth having is a dream worth fighting for.
Let me say this right off the bat, and you already know what I am about to say, but this movie is predictably silly and absurd. Now when it comes to Eurovision you expect that, but with Will’s latest film I wanted it to have a bit more substance, perhaps even like a mockumentary style of film. Instead, we get a bloated and overlong movie that misses its chance of being a comedy hit. Don’t get me wrong it has some really humorous moments, but the belly laughs are too few and far between.
The script is also frustratingly laboured too. We of course begin with the usual character struggle where Lars and Sigrit do not fit in, then we have the meaty middle where they find themselves overcoming obstacles before the inevitable climax hits us smack in the face with its unoriginality. As Ferrell co-wrote the screenplay, you knew he was always going to be playing that over the top, juvenile character, but he just seems to be off it in this outing for his usual comedy self.
For all Will’s goofy personality in The Story of Fire Saga though, you get the charming melodiousness from McAdams’ Sigrit that just about harmonises with Lars outlandish nature. This is the only real compliment I can give this film. Their chemistry is pleasant to endure, but just because McAdams is a delight. She showed her comic genius in Game Night and she continues to shine here.
On the whole, Eurovision Song Contest (the film) is a mismatch for me. For every amusing scene that makes you do a semi-chuckle, you get two sequences of clichéd cringe. Thank heavens for Rachel McAdams, and a little shout out to Dan Stevens who props up this film in a supporting role, for just about carrying this movie through the 1-star stage. If you have nothing else to do, still probably miss this.
Cineroom’s rating: 2 stars
Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga is out now on Netflix worldwide – certificate 12A