For a second I thought it was some McKay/Ferrell collab that was kept under wraps during production. It seems aesthetically McKay with its outlandish premise. The name of the movie even has a subtitle very similar to the movies Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy and Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby. If McKaye was at the helm, Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga would have been a lot better than the end result. This might be the worst Will Ferrell led movie I have ever seen.
In the opening minutes of the movie, Ferrell and Rachel McAdams’ Icelandic band, Fire Sage, perform what they think to be a huge hit, Volcano Man, it’s a dreamlike music video and not only are the visuals funny, but the song is hilarious too. I was sold and ready to live in this world for two hours, and then the movie actually started. The movie’s premise is beat for beat the same as Zoolander. Even down to the disapproving father who watches his son embarrass himself on the TV in the bar.
The only saving grace of the whole movie is McAdams’ performance, which really brought the movie down to reality in the points the movie needed it the most. McAdams has low-key made a name for herself in comedy acting. (Though ‘Eurovision’ is a complete dud, besides the obvious Mean Girls and Wedding Crashers, the movie Game Night is one of the greatest comedies of the past ten years. It’s a fantastically written and well directed comedy with a clever premise.)
‘Eurovision’ was clearly made by people who enjoy the ceremony, and that’s part of the problem. The balance between paying homage to the outlandish show and mocking it is all off. When the movie pays homage it’s so goofy and corny – it comes off more as an episode of Glee than a Will Ferrell led comedy. Midway through the movie we are serenaded with a musical medley full of cameos of familiar faces from previous Eurovision Song Contests; winners, losers, loads of ‘em. If you have never seen the contest before, which is likely you haven’t if you’re from North America, then this will go completely over your head and you’ll be wondering why that man with the long beard is wearing a dress.
After 90 minutes it seems like ’Eurovision’ is wrapping up. Then BOOM, you click the up button on the DualShock controller and you find out there’s still 30 fucking minutes of this crap! Besides half assed half parody songs that I’m sure the writers’ had a great time creating, the overlong movie is padded out with recurring jokes about Nordic people being incestuous and a mind numbing cameo from Graham Norton who gets way too much screen time.
For somebody with a huge sense of humor and finds comedy in almost anything, I’m a lot more lenient when it comes to bad comedy than many other critics, but this movie is so bad I almost turned it off after an hour. It reminds me of the Vince Vaughan movie, The Internship, which was basically one big commercial for Google. The film is a laborious, expensive commercial for the main event. If you want to watch a bunch of extravagant camp music videos, just go on YouTube.