Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga

All set for the fancy dress party
Verdict: 
6/10 - Eurovision is tonally over the place and not as funny as it should have been
Release Date: 
Friday, June 26, 2020
Written by: 

Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams play Icelandic musicians representing their country at Europe's annual singing extravaganza.

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The 2020 Eurovision Song Contest may have been cancelled this year, but fans can get their fix of the annual competition by watching Will Ferrell's latest Netflix comedy.

The comedian plays Icelandic musician Lars, who is in band called Fire Saga with his childhood friend Sigrit (Rachel McAdams).

Lars has been dreaming of winning the Eurovision Song Contest since he was a child, and Sigrit, easily the better singer of the duo, is basically just in it because she's in love with Lars.

They don't have great songs and are ridiculed in their hometown, but following a series of very fortunate and unlikely events, they are picked to represent Iceland at the contest in Edinburgh, Scotland.

During the trip, their loyalty to each other is truly tested by other contestants, such as Russia's Alexander (Dan Stevens), and people telling them how they should look and sound, and they have to confront their feelings for one another.

 

Eurovision is an amusing watch with appealing leads but sadly isn't as funny as it should have been.

The subject material is ripe with comedic potential but there are hardly any laugh-out-loud moments and it chooses to treat Eurovision with affection rather than poke fun at it. Also, at just over two hours, it feels far too long and it loses momentum in the final third.

But there are a lot of elements to love about it, from the fabulous costumes, hair and make-up, the wacky accents, to the tongue-in-cheek stage performances featuring deliberately overproduced, forgettable pop tracks.

The Eurovision performances are the film's highlights, and these are improved by TV presenter Graham Norton, who provides commentary for the actual contest, giving cheeky remarks throughout. While Fire Saga's performances were dramatic and pushed the story forward, the stage highlight had to be Stevens' number Lion of Love, an over-the-top and ridiculous song.

It was very entertaining watching the actor camping it up on stage, with the most obvious fake tan, '80s hairstyle, and opulent clothing.

Ferrell works with his usual schtick but is less effectively funny than some of his other films. McAdams, who proved she could do comedy with 2018's Game Night, is the emotional heart of the film, the kooky yet relatable character.

Pierce Brosnan makes an appearance at Lars' father Erick and is sadly wasted as a serious, non-singing character. Demi Lovato has a small role as a rival Icelandic singer and Eurovision fans will be able to spot winners such as Conchita Wurst, Alexander Rebak, and Netta in a party scene.

Eurovision isn't a resounding success but it's also not a complete failure. It may be tonally all over the place and not have many much-needed laugh-out-loud moments, but you are guaranteed to have a smile on your face watching some of these bonkers performances.

Available on Netflix from Friday 26th June.

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