Will Ferrell’s comedy is not for everyone, and for many, it is an acquired taste. But when the jokes land in his favor, they land hard. This is very much true with his latest film Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga.
The film stars Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams in a gloriously ridiculous tale about two Icelandic singers who want to win the Eurovision Song Contest.
On paper, none of this should work at all. But somehow, Ferrell and McAdams make this extremely dumb idea charming.
But is this another great Netflix comedy? Is it worth the stream on the streaming giant? Here is our full review of Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga.
Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga review: Should you stream Will Ferrell’s latest comedy?
Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga is about two childhood friends, Lars (Will Ferrell) and Sigrit (Rachel McAdams), who dream of winning Eurovision’s Song Contest and becoming nationally recognized singers.
The film has a typical Will Ferrell formula for his comedies.
That formula usually involves giving him a costar he can improv with for most of the movie — for example, John C. Reilly with Step Brothers, Mark Wahlberg with The Other Guys, and Kevin Hart with Get Hard.
This is usually accompanied by a foe/rival of sorts such as Sacha Baron Cohen in Talladega Nights or Adam Scott as the infamous Derek in Step Brothers.
With Eurovision Song Contest, McAdams is his John C. Reilly, and the magnificent Dan Stevens as Russian singer Alexander Lemtov is his rival.
This is not to say its formulaic approach is bad because with Ferrell, it’s an understanding of his strengths, and with Eurovision Song Contest, it feels oddly fresh for some reason.
This is because McAdams is not the typical choice one might think of to pair with Ferrell’s comedic sensibilities. Shockingly, the two work exceptionally well together.
Throughout the story, McAdams character Sigrit brings a needed warmth and balance to the childlike grown buffoon that is Lars. And it gives the film an endearing quality that sometimes feels lacking in Ferrell’s comedies.
Honestly, she is the best romantic costar Ferrell has had since he starred alongside Zooey Deschanel in Elf.
That said, those who are not a fan of Will Ferrell’s schtick are probably not going to have their minds changed here either.
The film has all the usual ingredients of a Will Ferrell comedy, such as terrible accents, jokes that either land or strike out considerably, not to mention, it’s incredibly self-aware of its stupidity.
But hardcore fans of Will Ferrell’s best work will find lots to love here.
However, some of the jokes are incredibly clever and unexpected. For example, if viewers ever wondered what a Viking singing like The Weeknd would look and sound like, this film will gladly demonstrate the visual.
And the musical numbers in Eurovision Song Contest are ridiculously catchy. One Icelandic song called “Ja Ja Ding Dong” will frustratingly get stuck inside the viewer’s heads with its folksy sound and questionably suggestive lyrics.
In Russia, there is an artist named Vitas — real name Vitaly Vladasovich Grachev — who is known for his famous tongue-use falsetto singing and an over-the-top stage display.
The man is exceptionally gifted as a singer.
Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga seems like Will Ferrell learned about this artist and decided to take elements from his performances and make a two-hour comedy out of it.
Here is a video of Vitas’s “The 7th Element” below:
The video above can be a major metaphor for the entire film.
When one sees Vitas’ costume, style, singing, and stage production — none of it should work as well as one might expect. But when the melody hits, it has a charm to it that seems to click.
And most of this is thanks to director David Dobkin, who is no stranger to making comedies.
If that name sounds familiar, it’s because he previously directed Wedding Crashers, which also starred Rachel McAdams and Will Ferrell in a brief cameo.
That movie was another example of how Dobkin manages to balance comedy and unlikely romances in films.
Readers may go into Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga with low expectations after the last few misfires from Will Ferrell.
It might be the harsh period we are living in or the constant wave of bad news hitting us every day. But what the world needs is a stupid feel-good movie, and Eurovision Song Contest is precisely that.
Viewers who are not fans of the Will Ferrell archive should probably seek solace elsewhere.
But between the humor, the cast, and the music, Eurovision Song Contest is surprisingly better than it has any right to be, and it should be a nice dose of laughter for Netflix viewers this coming weekend.
Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga begins streaming tomorrow on Netflix.