There's a polarising debate raging. Online, at the dinner table, at parties, workplaces. All the major newspapers in the world have taken a stand. As usual, it emanates from America. It's love or hate.
Obviously I am talking about Will Ferrell and his latest comedy - Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga. I am on the 'love it' side of this polarisation. I've watched it 5 times. Each viewing more enjoyable than the last. Movie critics disagree. Most of them hate it.
I believe these reviewers have condemned too quickly. Watched it with the wrong attitude. Judging by the movies astronomical viewer numbers and huge social impact they have failed to gauge the feelings of everyday people.
New Zealanders at the end of a hard day's work aren't looking to analyse. We come with an open heart. We let a film wash over us. Like Rocky Horror Picture Show and Spinal Tap before it, Eurovision will live on. Another music-focused film maligned by critics but worshipped by audiences for generations.
Reviews can serve a purpose. They can be warnings to not waste your time and money. But a viewer risks next to nothing on Netflix. You're not getting in a car, driving to the cinema and paying a million dollars for popcorn.
Your commitment is a value for money monthly subscription and a couple of clicks. Surely it's better to view free from the opinions of others. Sample this movie for yourself. Whatever you do, do not read my half-baked opinion below. It's not a pointless Netflix movie review. It's worse. It's a pointless fanboy rant about a movie that came out a month ago.
Eurovision is a slower more sophisticated burn than other Will Ferrell movies. It doesn't run a gag a second 1st first act like Blades of Glory or Talladega Nights.
It takes its time to introduce the characters and their hyper Icelandic world. It's a movie with the confidence to take a moment to draw you in. Setting you up for a wicked 3rd act emotional punch. Not to say the 1st act is dull. A lot happens. Fun, magic, mayhem, violence.
This is a story Will has been carefully constructing for over 20 years. It's ingenious. The unique way competing love arcs resolve, the use of music, costume and choreography to move narrative, the Will Ferrell movie logic that makes potentially shark-jumping moments work. It's a movie that takes you on a different journey. It's a Ferrell labour of love. Funny but more than that too.
Will as Lars Erickssong does what he does best. An accident-prone weirdo man child. He's funny and loveable even if he looks a bit like a baboon with his long hair. But as writer, producer and superstar he leaves a lot of space for others to shine.
Particularly co-lead Rachel McAdams as Sigrit Ericksdóttir. I want to marry her. As Sigrit not as McAdams. Nothing against McAdams she is always good. Meangirls, Wedding Crashers, Sherlock Holmes and many other roles but the Icelandic Sigrit is the one for me.
Every single member of the cast turns up and delivers. There's an absurdly compelling performance from Downton Abbey's Dan Stevens as sexy Russian superstar Lemtov. Pierce Brosnan is excellent as the handsome, grumpy fisherman Dad Erick and Graham Norton plays Graham Norton perfectly.
ESCTSOFS is a Will Ferrell love letter to the competition his Swedish wife introduced him to in 1999. As such music is at the centre. From Volcano Man which my kids can't stop talking about to the tear-jerking Húsavík. The music is part parody part awesome in its own right.
A highlight being the midpoint medley featuring some of the most interesting Eurovision winners of recent times. But it's Jaja Ding Dong that will get inside your brain and play on repeat for the rest of your life.
Story of Fire Saga has its lovers and its haters. Like so many issues today tensions are rising on both sides. We need to bring the pressure down. State things in non-emotional terms. No need to be tribal. Why can't we just get along? We are all humans after all.
There are two legitimate sides to this debate. The side of the everyday hard-working good honest Kiwis like me who rightly love this funny, heartfelt movie. Let's call us 'the good guys'.
Then there's the other side. The evil elitist film critics who hate our beloved movie. Let's brand them the 'bad guys' and move forward as a community.
"PLAY JAJA DING DONG!".