Another Will Ferrell playing a giant Man-Child comedy. With a runtime as long as it’s title, can this musical comedy really keep audiences engaged the entire time? 

Certificate: 12

Director: David Dobkin

Screenwriter: Will Ferrell, Andrew Steele

Starring: Will Ferrell, Rachel McAdams, Pierce Brosnan

Genre: Comedy, Music

Runtime: 123 Minutes

Rating: 3.5 Stars

Reviewed by: Pearl

You have heard of a child that only a mother could love?  Well this is the film that only Eurovision Fans could love.  If the kitschy, campy weirdness of the yearly singing competition isn’t your cup of tea, then you will find little of value here.  But if like me, you make a whole evening out of watching the crazy song and dance numbers, and laugh as Graham Norton slowly gets drunker as the night goes on, then this might be right up your alley.

Lars has dreamt of winning the Eurovision Song Contest ever since he was a small boy.  And with the help of his long time singing partner Sigrit, and a small boating disaster, they are finally given the chance to represent Iceland in the competition.  But after a few rehearsal mishaps and creative differences, Lars will have to decide if winning the competition is really the most important thing to him.

Well, it wasn’t as terrible as I was expecting, and I went into this with the lowest of expectations.  I have never been a Will Ferrell fan, and if you have been around here for any length of time at all you know that I am also not a huge comedy fan.  So the idea of this film was just incredibly off putting to me.  The trailer made the whole thing just look silly, and I was prepared to spend the whole two hours rolling my eyes and being outraged at the whole thing.  And don’t get me wrong there was plenty of eye rolling.  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.

All of the musical segments were amazing, the pitch perfect style song-a-long being my personal favourite.  They really did capture the spirit of the competition, and as we had to go without the contest this year due to COVID, I was glad to be able to get my Eurovision fix.  Sigrit’s sub plot was actually very heart warming and her character overall was just such a joy to watch, with an almost childlike naivety, and her journey of self discovery, it was lovely to watch.

Both Dan Stevens and Pierce Brosnan play excellent side characters here, and manage to leave a lasting impression on the audience, despite their relatively short amount of screen time.  Dan Stevens’ Alexander, a Russian competitor in the competition is fantastic in every scene he is in and we get to know quite a lot about him despite his small role.

The main problem with this film though is the two hour runtime.  There were a lot of scenes that just weren’t all that necessary and parts of the film that could have been shaved down considerably.  It would be a lot more approachable for casual audiences, if it was maybe twenty minutes shorter and we lost a lot of the filler.

Like the Contest itself, this film will NOT be for everyone, but if your are curious, ‘Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga’ is available to stream on Netflix now!