Unashamed and supremely slick commercial for the group, maintaining a gentle air of self-parody while at the same time being a celebration of all the various apparatuses which make a merchandising phenomenon like ABBA possible.
The narrative – without which the film would mostly consist of footage of the band on stage – follows ABBA through an Australian tour pursued by a hapless Sydney radio DJ called Ashley (Robert Hughes), assigned by his boss to get an exclusive, in-depth interview with the world’s most famous group.
If the idea is spread a little thin, it’s occasionally handled with a humour and panache worthy of Dick Lester’s Beatles‘ movies or ABBA’s own Phil Spector/Brian Wilson-inspired studio craftsmanship.
In front of the camera, ABBA deliver their songs with big, bright smiles and plenty of gusto as a string of relentlessly screaming audiences whoop it up. ABBA fans should be especially happy with the film’s musical content because it includes both familiar hits like Dancing Queen and lesser-known fan favourites like Eagle.
In short, ABBA: The Movie is a slick, fast-paced treat for the group’s fans and a fine way for novices and ABBA-virgins to experience this internationally-popular group at the height of their fame.
Radio Station Manager