Branson Reese’s review published on Letterboxd:
Because I was a teenage boy in the 2000s I will always love Will Ferrell. Just how that’s gotta be. And so, y’know, I was rooting for this one. But I think we have to accept that Will Ferrell’s late career renaissance may never come. He’s deeply naturally funny. Just a vibe thing. You can’t teach that, as evidenced by UCB crumbling and falling into the Hudson River with thousands of trust funds trailing behind it like soup cans tied to the bumper of a newlywed couple’s car. But he’s also pretty married to starring in overlong movies with bog-standard plotting. I have watched and will continue to watch him do this for as long as I live. I’ll even enjoy it as I did in fits and spurts here. But, man. That was over two hours. This movie (as most movies) could’ve been a really fun fifty minutes where Will Ferrell goes to Eurovision and sings about being a Viking. I generally don’t need to see him grow because I don’t accept his characters as human beings in the first place. The Marx Brothers figured this shit out in the 30s when they had Zeppo killed so they could just make movies about ruining rich people’s lives.
But whatever. I’ll probably never think about this unprompted again and I had a nice enough time. This type of Will Ferrell vehicle is basically a mad libs story about a weird guy who learns a lesson. Long blonde hair, a weirdly loving take on Eurovision, Rachel McAdams playing a character way more human and nuanced than the script or movie deserved, elves, and three entire Sigur Rós songs are some perfectly fine things to go in those blanks. It’s just, like, try another mad libs.