Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga parents guide

Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga Parent Guide

This movie suffers from tonal whiplash, yo-yo-ing between graphic violence, crude sexual humor, and childish silliness.

Overall C-

Netflix: Given the honor of representing their nation at the prestigious Eurovision Song Contest, Lars and Sigrit seize the opportunity to make their dreams come true, no matter the cost.

Release date June 26, 2020

Violence D
Sexual Content D
Profanity C-
Substance Use C

Why is Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga rated PG-13? The MPAA rated Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga PG-13 for crude sexual material including full nude sculptures, some comic violent images, and language.

Run Time: 120 minutes

Parent Movie Review

Lars (Will Ferrell) and Sigrit (Rachel McAdams) have dreamed of winning the Eurovision Song Contest since they saw ABBA performing “Waterloo” in the competition as children. But living in the small Icelandic town of Husavik, getting a musical career off the ground is harder than they would have imagined. Now middle-aged, they are still performing small gigs at bars and practicing in Lars’ father, Erick’s (Pierce Brosnan) house. When an unlikely series of events leads to the duo being selected to represent Iceland at Eurovision, Lars and Sigrit soon find that not everyone is eager to see them realize their dreams…

There is seldom any excuse for a comedy to run over 90 minutes, and this film barely merits the first 90. I can’t remember one joke in the entire runtime that led to so much as a change in facial expression, much less a laugh. I don’t think it’s just me, either. This is a movie seemingly without an audience – it feels like a bad Will Ferrell comedy from the early 2000’s. The ones that people said were “classics” at the time, but make you feel like putting your head in the washing machine should you be unfortunate enough to re-watch them.

That said, this seems to be a surprisingly sincere approach to the Eurovision contest itself. While Ferrell’s and McAdam’s characters are patently goofy, the contest is its usual strange self. I’m not a huge fan of the Euro-Pop style that seems fairly predominant in the soundtrack (with somewhat sillier lyrics), but it does seem to fit in with the contest. For comparison, you can click here to watch Iceland’s actual entry for the non-competitive 2020 Eurovision: Europe Shine a Light show (which replaced the competition scheduled for this year due to COVID-19). It’s not that far off.

But no amount of sincerity is going to make this watchable, let alone interesting. The plot is the kind of blandly predictable nonsense that could have been composed by a handful of over-medicated toddlers left unsupervised with a word processor and a basic understanding of film structure. Worse, the movie has a severe case of tonal whiplash, yo-yoing between dark, graphic violence, crude sexual humor, and very childish silliness. Those are not three flavors that mix well. Imagine Neapolitan ice-cream, but instead of chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry, you get root beer, mint, and mashed potatoes. There are easier ways to get the easy pop sound of Eurovision – like watching old competitions. That’s certainly preferably to sitting through this confused mess. Unless, of course, you’re just here for the “Greek” statuary sporting erections. In which case, please don’t sit near me.

Directed by David Dobkin. Starring Will Ferrell, Rachel McAdams, and Natasia Demetriou. Running time: 120 minutes. Theatrical release June 26, 2020. Updated

Watch the trailer for Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga

Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga
Rating & Content Info

Why is Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga rated PG-13? Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for crude sexual material including full nude sculptures, some comic violent images, and language.

Violence: A large explosion is shown which kills dozens of people, and flings burning dismembered limbs around. A ghost of one of the deceased is shown several times, on fire and missing limbs. Two people sustain minor cuts and bruises in an incident involving a giant hamster wheel. An individual is nearly strangled to death with a garotte. A person is fatally stabbed in the back.
Sexual Content: Many of the songs have thinly veiled (or completely transparent) sexual themes. Individuals are shown stuffing socks down their pants to accentuate their crotches. There is frequent dialogue about male genitalia. Several statues are shown with engorged male members.
Profanity: There are 17 uses of scatological profanity and one extreme profanity. There is frequent use of terms of deity and mild profanity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: People are frequently shown drinking and appear intoxicated to the point of vomiting.

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If you break it down, this is not a significantly different film from Pitch Perfect or Pitch Perfect 2. Teen Spirit also features a young singer’s realization that singing competitions can be harder than she anticipated.