The Story Of Fire Saga is a new Netflix movie, starring Will Ferrell, which is technically called Eurovision Song Contest: The Story Of Fire Saga, but for website SEO purposes that’s way too long a title, and ‘Eurovision Song Contest’ is too generic a term to use as the focus keyword to stand out in a search. Anyway…
It begins on April 6th, 1974, when a young Lars is watching Abba on the Eurovision Song Contest and getting ideas. Then fast-forwrd to the present day, and Fire Saga are chosen to be one of the 12 bands to compete to see who’ll go on to represent Iceland.
One of the options for their Eurovision entry is a song called Volcano Man, and even though it’s a spoof made for the purposes of this film, it’s a damn sight better than the crap we potentially offered up under the guise of James Newman’s My Last Breath. I do feel sorry for the fact his moment in the spotlight was curtailed, and in the essence of fairness, I can’t object if they want to pick him again for 2021 after this year’s contest didn’t take place properly, but pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeease get a different song!
Or, we could just have British actor Dan Stevens singing Lion Of Love, for Russia… Well, we could if it was him actually singing it.
In the end, they take a song called Double Trouble to the contest, with an ‘interesting’ performance in the Semi Final, with the band being made up of childhood friends Lars (Will Ferrell being Will Ferrell) and Sigrit (Rachel McAdams) who has ‘elf friends’ that she talks to because she’s clearly quite mad, and although there are Norwegian actors in this, the two leads put on cod-Icelandic accents as does anyone else who’s not a native speaker of the language.
However, it’s not without its charm such as when they’re due to take part in the pre-Eurovision show and Lars struggles to even make it to the stage, after putting something down his pants so as to show off his ‘ding dong’. Plus, Dan Stevens (The Guest) plays Russian entrant – and one of the favourites – Alexander Lemtov, and is constantly trying to crack on to Sigrit, while Pierce Brosnan plays Lars’ father, Erick, even though there’s only 14 years between the two actors.
Elsewhere in the cast, sister and brother combo Natasia Demetriou and Jamie Demetriou (Stath Lets Flats) are brought to the fore as stagehands, when they really should’ve been left at the ‘three’.
When I saw this film was just over two hours long, I figured about 80 minutes would be enough with room to spare. No comedy needs to last two hours. This one fills time with truncated mixes of songs, such as Cher’s Believe turning into Madonna’s Ray Of Light in such an unnatural way that it’s quite horrible. When a DJ does that in a nightclub, you’re instantly thinking: Just play the whole of each song before moving on!
Oh, and when they also throw former Eurovision winners Netta and Conchita Wurst, I thought I’d either fallen into a coma or was suffering from a stroke. Please make it stop.
At the end of this, The Story Of Fire Saga could take up about 20 minutes before you start to get bored, and with the two lead characters clearly wanting to get it on together, but circumstances throw in potential alternative suitors, it feels like they’re tring to recreate the magic of The Money Pit but replacing a house with Eurovision.
Now, a question about the timing of this release. I wondered if it was originally intended to come out just before the regular Eurovision Song Contest – which would make sense, and if it was, then was it the current situation which stopped that from happening in time? Well, in short, yes to all of that.
The Story Of Fire Saga is released tomorrow on Netflix, but isn’t yet available to pre-order on Blu-ray or DVD. However, you can buy the Soundtrack album.
Running time: 123 minutes
Release date: June 26th 2020
Director: David Dobkin
Producers: Jessica Elbaum, Will Ferrell, Chris Henchy
Writers: Will Ferrell, Andrew Steele
Music: Atli Örvarsson
Lars Erickssong: Will Ferrell
Sigrit Ericksdottir: Rachel McAdams
Nina: Natasia Demetriou
Alexander Lemtov: Dan Stevens
Erick Erickssong: Pierce Brosnan
Kevin Swain: Jamie Demetriou
Neils Brongus: Ólafur Darri Ólafsson
Katiana: Demi Lovato
Johans: Jóhannes Haukur Jóhannesson
Jiles: Tómas Lemarquis
Mita Xenakis: Melissanthi Mahut
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.