Today: July 9, 2024

ABBA: Against the Odds

ABBA are one of those bands who have sadly never been able to shake their cheesy-pop reputation with many people over the last 50 years, despite their enormous success. I would say that, on the whole,  I’m met with far more cringes than nods of approval when I tell people I like them. A new BBC documentary, directed by the BAFTA-winning James Rogan and released back in May to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Swedish foursome’s Eurovision triumph, is a must-watch for fans, but also could just bring the enlightenment that ABBA’s detractors and non-believers need.

Made up entirely of archive footage, ABBA: Against the Odds is a nostalgic journey through the band’s career and continuing legacy. While it’s unashamedly entry-level and hardly an exhaustive critical analysis, the film does touch upon the hardships the band faced over their rise to glory, while also talking about the challenges of balancing fame with family life. 

The overall tone of the film, though, is light. It is a celebratory tribute to the band in this milestone year, and if they had a new album or tour to plug, I’d say this was just a promotional puff piece. It’s put together confidently enough, and benefits enormously from having the rights to use the band’s enormous catalogue of music. Too many of these straight-to-TV/DVD docs struggle with their budget limitations and feel like glorified YouTube video essays, but this is a BBC product and feels like it.

ABBA: Against the Odds won’t fool anyone into thinking it’s anything more than a TV special. It’s hardly exhaustive and makes a few missteps with chronology, and could probably use a tighter edit. But it’s hard not to be swept up in this unassuming Swedish pop band’s triumphant journey to global fame. Thank you for the music. 

Previous Story

Twisters: The Real Story

Next Story

WIN! Back To Black on Blu-ray or 4K UHD!

Latest from Blog


Memory (2023)

Memory is an exquisite American drama in the tender embrace of Michel Franco’s cinematic prowess.

Civil War Unboxing

Alex Garland’s harrowing dystopian vision Civil War was an unforgettable experience in the cinema – particularly IMAX – thanks to its stunning cinematography but more so that chilling sound design that gave

The Moon Steelbook Unboxing

K-Pop sensation Doh Kyung-soo (better known as D.O.) stars in this thrilling survival sci-fi from filmmaker Kim Yong-hwa, available now in a gorgeous 4K UHD Steelbook release. The Moon is a compelling

Sopranos legend Dominic Chianese tells his story

This Friday night, legendary actor Dominic Chianese – best known for his unforgettable performance as Corrado ‘Junior’ Soprano in HBO’s The Sopranos – tells his story through words and music in Windsor. 


What’s the first thing you think of when you think of stop-motion? You probably think of Wallace & Gromit and Shaun the Sheep, Ray Harryhausen, or Laika’s output. But as proven in

The Miracle Fighters

The Miracle Fighters is a delirious, frenetic, and wildly imaginative kung fu movie from the legendary Yuen Woo-Ping.  Released in 1982, The Miracle Fighters is a comedic tale of taoist magic, directed by
Go toTop