#REVIEW: “EUROVISION SONG CONTEST: THE STORY OF FIRE SAGA”
By Mr. Will Wong
Netflix continues to be our saviour this Pandemic with an onslaught of programming including Features we’d actually pay to see in the theatre. Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga certainly would be one of these Films. The satire set in the world of the titular annual international song competition, is well aware of its own silliness. While it is a collection of very funny ideas, tying them together cohesively ultimately becomes the Comedy’s greatest challenge.
Will Ferrell co-writes, produces and also stars as Lars Erickssong, who has dreamed of winning Eurovision since his childhood, much to the disapproval of his fisherman father Erick (Pierce Brosnan). He and wife Sigrit (Rachel McAdams) form a Duo, Fire Saga and while the odds are largely against this humble pair with big dreams, they find themselves suddenly in-contention, representing their native Iceland in the unlikeliest of circumstances. Nobody seems to be rooting for them. Startled by the big lights and production, the pair find their bond tested when alluring Russian Popstar Alexander Lemtov (Dan Stevens) enters the picture, with his own hopes for Sigrit.
Directed by David Dobkin (The Judge, Wedding Crashers), the Comedy fuses a bit of Mamma Mia and Pitch Perfect into the mix. While it succeeds at times as an over-the-top love letter to one of the world’s most popular music contests, tonally the Film veers to a bit of sentiment to mixed results. McAdams on-paper seems an odd fit for Sigrit but she gives the Film some heart when she is defeated and that works. Ferrell works his musical muscle and while capturing Lars‘ hypnotic delusion, the insistence on making him bumbling and clumsy detracts from the heart of the story which should have centered on his relentless ambition to win and that was needed to get us a bit more invested. Also, the father-son story line between Ferrell and Brosnan somehow gets lost as we forget at times the latter is even in the Film he’s used so sparingly. Stevens delivers a committed performance as a self-obsessed, Russian version of George Michael getting in-between Lars and Sigrit, nailing the accent while others drift in and out of theirs. An unrecognizable Lovato also gets a bit of screen time as Pop Star Katiana, eliciting a few giggles.
We all need a bit of cheer right now, so how can we fault them for trying? Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga streams on Netflix Friday, June 26, 2020.