Author Topic: Eurovision Song Contest: The Story Of Fire Saga (2020)  (Read 1534 times)

Small Man Big Horse

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Eurovision Song Contest: The Story Of Fire Saga (2020)
« on: June 27, 2020, 02:09:34 PM »
This is Will Ferrell's latest, a surprisingly tame underdog tale where Ferrell and Rachel McAdams are two Icelandic singers who have always dreamt of winning the Eurovision Song Contest, and after a boat explodes killing all of the other potential Icelandic entries it looks like they're going off to Edinburgh to take part in it.  It's a bloody frustrating film, some of it's really funny, Dan Stevens as a Russian singer is nicely over the top and the song he sings is great, and McAdams is really strong, and far funnier than Ferrell. But at two hours it's easily half an hour too long, the plot plays out in a painfully predictable manner, and the rom-com element is just plain rubbish, so even though it sticks the landing and I like aspects of it, I can only rate it 6.3/10

bomb_dog

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Re: Eurovision Song Contest: The Story Of Fire Saga (2020)
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2020, 09:07:32 PM »
Thanks for the mini review. Saw the trailer for this and it looks more Sharknado 5 than Sharknado 3... or alternatively, more Bo Selecta series 3 than 1. There’s a fine line between being intentionally tat and being a pistache of being intentionally tat. Will give it a go at some point but will be lined up To consider it for a single watch only.

icehaven

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Re: Eurovision Song Contest: The Story Of Fire Saga (2020)
« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2020, 10:46:05 PM »
Watched this last night after seeing it favourably reviewed on that Kermode and Mayo show. I really don't like Will Ferrell though so he kind of stunk it up for me, if it had been virtually anyone else it'd have been at least 30% better, but it was OK, I didn't hate it, but I did just keep wishing Ferrell wasn't in it.

As either Kermode or Mayo may have said it's surprising to see an American film have such a grasp of Eurovision, but then I dunno who wrote or directed it, maybe they're European. I wonder if Ferrell or McAdams had even heard of it before being approached to make this.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2020, 01:25:51 AM by icehaven »

Re: Eurovision Song Contest: The Story Of Fire Saga (2020)
« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2020, 12:01:38 AM »
Apparently Ferrell's been a fan for a long time, through his Swedish wife. And he co-wrote and produced it.

Pretty much everything that wasn't a direct parody of Eurovision (so all the plot, essentially) fell flat, but I did enjoy the parody. Not necessarily because of him, but cut out everything involving Brosnan's character and I think there'd be a better 80 minute film left.

Re: Eurovision Song Contest: The Story Of Fire Saga (2020)
« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2020, 11:30:22 AM »
Surely there was some influencing from the Fr Ted episode too; just hearing a review and how a key plot point was that everyone died in a plane crash allowing our protagonists compete (or in Fr Ted - copy a catchy tune).

kidsick5000

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Re: Eurovision Song Contest: The Story Of Fire Saga (2020)
« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2020, 12:22:02 PM »
It really needed to decide if it between being stupid (like Blades Of Glory) or a more straight romcom.
I reckon it's the official involvement of Eurovision that has got in the way of too much silliness.
They are far too beholden to it and don't make fun of the concert itself. But, I guess, how else do you film on those stages?
There are moments that seem to have come from a Eurovision directive.
The Song-along at the house party is done so straight, not a hint of irony, and is more suited to Glee than any form of comedy.
I know it's Ferrell's baby, but it would have worked far better with Andy Samberg as the lead.
Graham Norton appears, though in more of a Curtis romcom style.
And I honestly thought the story was going to be more that Will Ferrell' Lars is clearly not very good compared to Rachel McAdams' Siggrit.

That said, it's lovely to hear Sigur Ros (one of whom, Jonsi, was genuinely Iceland's entry for 2000-something) and I'm really taken with the big song.
I enjoyed Pierce Brosnan as Will Ferrell's dad, despite them looking almost the same age (just 15 years difference).

Seems some people really loved it though.


« Last Edit: June 28, 2020, 01:01:15 PM by kidsick5000 »

Shaky

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Re: Eurovision Song Contest: The Story Of Fire Saga (2020)
« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2020, 05:12:10 AM »
Maybe I was in the wrong mood but I watched about 20 mins and found it excruciatingly bad. It conjured up the ghosts of Ferrell's worst comedies and the bits were he was half-heartedly ad-libbing in a dodgy accent made me want to bite through my own face. Felt like a role better suited to someone else but then the film wouldn't exist without him.

Re: Eurovision Song Contest: The Story Of Fire Saga (2020)
« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2020, 10:38:25 AM »
I enjoyed it but I'm a Eurovision fan and have a reasonable Ferrell tolerance. I certainly wouldn't claim it's terribly good, or indeed particularly funny, but if you like Eurovision it's entertaining. There are a few amusing moments, and I'm amused by Dan Stevens' continually wayward career, but it seems to try to cram too much in and have no time for actual characterisation. There are so many characters with all the people of the small Icelandic town, and the Icelandic Eurovision committee, and all the Eurovision people backstage and front of stage, and actual Eurovision stars, but none of the vast cast gets the chance to establish a comic character or plot. While far too long, it's also far too short.

On the positive side, parts are set in Edinburgh for no good reason (possibly a reference to the city hosting Eurovision in 1972 for no good reason) and it's really pissed off some Glaswegians by using the magic of cinema to insert the SECC Hydro arena which is actually in Glasgow into a more picturesque location on the Southside of Edinburgh (more or less where Edinburgh University is). There's now a social media campaign to get an apology for that. So that's funnier than any of the actual jokes.

notjosh

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Re: Eurovision Song Contest: The Story Of Fire Saga (2020)
« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2020, 12:56:22 PM »
Got about 40 minutes into this so far. As a big McAdams advocate, I intend to finish it. But Will Ferrell really is weak sauce. Feels like he used up his entire bag of tricks in Anchorman and has been cruising on empty ever since. His thing seems to be to act a bit weird while a poorly constructed plot meanders along in the background.

Re: Eurovision Song Contest: The Story Of Fire Saga (2020)
« Reply #9 on: June 29, 2020, 02:24:24 PM »
His thing seems to be to act a bit weird while a poorly constructed plot meanders along in the background.

Don't forget the funny accent! I think Ferrell was hilarious in Anchorman: he definitely reached a far higher level of comedy there with a character that was genuinely ridiculous, full of actually funny foibles and flaws, some very good lines, and a keen sense of the ridiculous. His character in Eurovision is just a slightly stupid but well-meaning dude with too much hair and a series of weird costumes. When they do a scene with actual Eurovision people like Conchita Wurst and the Israeli Chicken Lady, it's clear that truth is much stranger than fiction. And Dan Stevens is much funnier too.

Re: Eurovision Song Contest: The Story Of Fire Saga (2020)
« Reply #10 on: June 29, 2020, 10:04:13 PM »
Watching it now and I agree it just feels a bit all over the place so far. I get the impression with Will Ferrell that he's sort of falling back on people just finding his presence in itself funny (which I'm sure many do), admittedly I'm not a massive fan of his and maybe I'm being unfair but I'm finding him pretty weak in this - it doesn't feel quite silly enough to get away with just finding over-the-top clownish performances and dodgy accents especially funny. Rachel McAdams is good though.

Also the heavy reliance on Scandinavian cliches at the start was a bit cringe, I mean I know it's affectionate and silly and I'm sure some of it's accurate, but it wore thin pretty quickly I thought.

As another Eurovision nerd I did enjoy the cameos in the 'song-a-long', and I can genuinely imagine the Russian bloke's song as an entry, but I suspect that'll be what I enjoyed most about it.

Captain Z

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Re: Eurovision Song Contest: The Story Of Fire Saga (2020)
« Reply #11 on: June 30, 2020, 11:05:45 AM »
Eurovision simultaneously feels like a good and bad idea for a Hollywood movie. Good because it's such a hugely popular event, bad because America has no part in it and I don't trust them to really understand what makes people enjoy it. Never been a massive fan of Wilf Errol either, I don't see myself watching this until it's on in the background on ITV2 in 5 years time.

Shameless Custard

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Re: Eurovision Song Contest: The Story Of Fire Saga (2020)
« Reply #12 on: July 02, 2020, 11:31:31 PM »
Apparently Ferrell has been a big fan for the past 20 years after his Swedish wife introduced him to it.

Eh, it was alright. Mrs Custard is a huge Eurovision fan and enjoyed a lot of it. It made me laugh a few times, and Dan Stevens steals the show by being genuinely very funny in a supporting role.

But I agree that Ferrell seems to be phoning it in, or at least half arsing it. He just looks so bored in any roles I've seen him in the past few years, and worse still, not very funny with it

Rachel McAdams gives it her best, and does well with not the greatest of characters. Nice to see Stath and his sister turn up

Will never watch it again, but it passed two hours with 'er indoors. Thanks x

neveragain

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Re: Eurovision Song Contest: The Story Of Fire Saga (2020)
« Reply #13 on: July 03, 2020, 03:48:12 PM »
As mentioned, it wasn't silly or funny enough. Some good set pieces, overblown singalong at party unnecessary. Loved Rachel McAdams, was a bit bored with Ferrell's schtick (and the romantic subplots). I liked how the Eurovision officials were shown as psychopaths in the end, as I worried they would just be respectfully-treated set dressing. The songs caught the spirit of Eurovision amazingly. Graham Norton.

notjosh

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Re: Eurovision Song Contest: The Story Of Fire Saga (2020)
« Reply #14 on: July 03, 2020, 04:33:07 PM »
overblown singalong at party unnecessary.

Agreed - the singalong scene had absolutely no relevance to the characters or their emotional journeys. Just a bunch of fan-service cameos.

alan nagsworth

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Re: Eurovision Song Contest: The Story Of Fire Saga (2020)
« Reply #15 on: July 03, 2020, 07:04:06 PM »
I thought the singalong party scene was the best bit of the film, a really fun fan service. The songs were deffo strong Eurovision fodder as well, and I thought all the music was generally well done. A shame then that the music played a relatively small part in this otherwise boring, over-long and unfunny film. Brosnan was a fucking embarrassment and Ferrell is honestly just tedious.

Re: Eurovision Song Contest: The Story Of Fire Saga (2020)
« Reply #16 on: July 14, 2020, 11:37:05 AM »
I thought the singalong party scene was the best bit of the film, a really fun fan service.

The singalong is very entertaining for the cameos as much as anything, and frankly if anyone is objecting to the presence of nonsensical singing, what are you doing watching this film? Although it reminded me awfully of a scene in one of the Pitch Perfect movies where they go to a secret underground club where everybody sings shitty showchoir songs in the style of rap battles, which is musically worse but a better joke, and if you're slightly less funny than a scene from Pitch Perfect Whatever, maybe you should rethink your life choices.

Re: Eurovision Song Contest: The Story Of Fire Saga (2020)
« Reply #17 on: July 14, 2020, 03:15:33 PM »
Sigur Ros (one of whom, Jonsi, was genuinely Iceland's entry for 2000-something)

Eh? I don't think this is true. (Wiki says it's a different Jonsi)

I thought this was incredibly boring and lacking in funnies. The only decent bit was the pixie killing that guy and then slamming the door. The songs were standard eurovision fare and not a parody. It was nowhere near funny enough. Seems like eurovision had too much say over the content.

Ornlu

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Re: Eurovision Song Contest: The Story Of Fire Saga (2020)
« Reply #18 on: July 15, 2020, 12:01:48 PM »
It was about what I expected. My favourite bit was when he pushes over the portaloo with someone in it (though I suppose that's probably been done before, countless times, in 'better' films).

Where do you all know Dan Stevens from? I'd never heard of him, didn't recognise him, and didn't think his character was that funny at all.

Re: Eurovision Song Contest: The Story Of Fire Saga (2020)
« Reply #19 on: July 15, 2020, 10:24:17 PM »
Where do you all know Dan Stevens from? I'd never heard of him, didn't recognise him, and didn't think his character was that funny at all.

He was yer main fellow in Legion.

Re: Eurovision Song Contest: The Story Of Fire Saga (2020)
« Reply #20 on: July 27, 2020, 10:30:33 AM »
He was yer main fellow in Legion.
Also brilliant in the American thriller The Guest. And was in Downton Abbey.

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