Critics Consensus

Irresistible, My Spy, and Eurovision Song Contest Hit Digital Release This Week

As people continue to self-quarantine at home, we run down the most notable films hitting VOD and streaming services.

by | June 25, 2020 | Comments

As more and more people are compelled to practice social distancing and encouraged to stay home, as movie theaters temporarily shutter their doors, and as studios continue to pull their scheduled 2020 films off the release calendar, we’ve decided to reformat the Critics Consensus column to focus on titles that are newly available on the home entertainment market. With that in mind, our list of digital and streming new releases this week includes a political satire written and directed by Jon Stewart, a big man/little girl comedy, and a musical spoof. See below for details.

Irresistible (2020) 41%

For more than a decade and a half, Jon Stewart was best known for his hilarious, razor sharp observations on current events as the host of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show, which came to be regarded as a vital, if comedic, voice in the public discourse. Stewart exited the show in 2015 after 16 seasons and after successfully making his big-screen directorial debut with the based-on-true-events drama Rosewater, which, though political, was decidedly not comedic. This week brings us Stewart’s sophomore effort, and it should feel a little more familiar to fans of The Daily ShowIrresistible is a political satire that takes aim at the imperfect system currently in place, rather than any specific party or ideology, with Steve Carell playing a Democratic strategist named Gary who pounces on a small-town hero-turned-viral sensation (Chris Cooper) as a means to win over middle America. The Republicans have their own superstar consultant (Rose Byrne), of course, and when she descends upon said small town to counter Gary’s efforts, things quickly get out of hand. Unfortunately, despite Stewart working in familiar territory, critics haven’t been wowed by Irresistible, which they say is neither as funny as its talented cast might lead you to believe nor incisive enough in its political commentary to land any significant blows on, well, anyone. In other words, there are a few laugh-out-loud moments and clever insights to be found, but it all feels strangely watered down, which is a little disappointing, considering it came from the mind of Jon Stewart.

Available Friday, June 26 on: FandangoNOW, Vudu, Alamo On Demand, Google Play

My Spy (2020) 49%

There comes a point in the career of every big (both figuratively and literally) action star when they inevitably sign on to do a self-aware comedy that pits their ultra-masculinity against the cutesy antics of children. We’ve seen it with Hulk Hogan, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Vin Diesel, and Dwayne Johnson, among others; even John Cena did one just last year. Well, the time has finally come for Dave Bautista, he of Guardians of the Galaxy and Blade Runner 2049, to join that list, and he does so this week in My Spy. One of the few 2020 films that was pulled from the theatrical release calendar and sent straight to a streaming service (in this case, Amazon Prime), My Spy pairs Bautista’s down-on-his-luck loose-cannon CIA agent JJ with Sophie (Chloe Coleman), the 9-year-old daughter of the family he’s been sent to surveil. When Sophie discovers what JJ is up to, she strikes a deal with him: she won’t blow his cover as long as he teaches her how to be a spy. Is there more to the story, like bad guys and some sort of evil plot? Probably, but that’s not the point of a movie like this, is it? And audiences who tune in to watch My Spy likely know exactly what they’re getting into. That said, critics have reacted predictably to the film, which they say is charming enough in its bland, inoffensive take on the familiar formula but offers almost nothing extra to set it apart from its predecessors. There are already a slew of films like it out there, and this one is maybe slightly better executed than some others, but if you’re expecting anything more than “musclebound man learns to soften up with help from a little girl,” you will be disappointed.

Available Friday, June 26 on: Amazon Prime

Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga (2020) 63%

Though most viewers in the US are likely unfamiliar with the Eurovision Song Contest, it remains one of the longest-running international television events ever, a music competition held annually between more than 50 countries across Europe (plus Australia) and televised in many more, with past winners including the likes of ABBA and Celine Dion. In other words, it’s largely foreign to Americans, which also means it’s unfortunately kind of a perfect target for parody. Enter Will Ferrell, Rachel McAdams, and director David Dobkin, who reunited (all three worked on Wedding Crashers together) to bring us this week’s Netflix comedy Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga. Ferrell (who also co-wrote the film) and McAdams play Lars and Sigrit, two Icelandic musicians with hopes of representing their country at Eurovision who encounter setbacks at every turn and must deal with competition — both for the Eurovision title and for Sigrit’s heart — from a Russian pretty boy played by Dan Stevens. Critics say Eurovision isn’t so much a series of cheap shots at an unfamiliar subculture as it is a gentle, affectionate celebration of it, notwithstanding a few inconsistent accents and slapstick set pieces. And while it features a few great supporting performances, particularly by a scene-stealing Stevens, and it’s not mean-spirited or altogether terrible, it does meander a bit and go on for a bit too long. It’s kind of goofy, and its jokes are a tad hit-or-miss, but at the end of the day, it’s a surprisingly warm and wholesome feelgood comedy that just overstays its welcome a little bit.

Available now on: Netflix

Thumbnail image by Focus Features

Tag Cloud

stop motion robots Infographic Brie Larson Sundance posters mcc Winter TV BET kaiju australia Mindy Kaling Tubi police drama Chilling Adventures of Sabrina TruTV RT21 Women's History Month 1990s Binge Guide Mystery strong female leads crossover Columbia Pictures E3 Teen YouTube Red canceled TV shows halloween tv Freeform Cannes ITV Drama The Walking Dead Marvel Studios TCA ID streaming universal monsters Disney Plus E! Sony Pictures Sundance TV boxoffice Logo TBS VOD comic Netflix spinoff spider-man satire GoT television franchise FX on Hulu 93rd Oscars BBC America BBC Musical cancelled television Thanksgiving toronto casting Trophy Talk mob dexter Heroines adventure composers comiccon YouTube Premium Universal Pictures 45 Sci-Fi CW Seed Premiere Dates space Film spy thriller dragons Country FXX Television Critics Association Comic-Con@Home 2021 critics Comedy VICE Trailer series Lifetime news Alien Countdown Creative Arts Emmys spanish Cartoon Network Pop Amazon Prime Video HBO Max Amazon archives 90s festivals all-time tv talk First Reviews 007 Crackle 2020 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards VH1 ABC Family italian romance asian-american Winners Rock Sneak Peek twilight art house Broadway classics 2018 supernatural Ovation Vudu true crime festival women comedies ViacomCBS sopranos black BET Awards king kong razzies comic book movie Funimation RT History cops psychological thriller Superheroe venice TCA Awards Apple Disney streaming service indiana jones toy story Star Wars werewolf Academy Awards rom-coms CBS Family SDCC New York Comic Con deadpool Photos 99% dreamworks Fargo aapi canceled Universal LGBTQ olympics Tarantino pirates of the caribbean Hulu hollywood CNN Opinion godzilla Calendar ghosts technology children's TV Oscars book dceu Extras Tokyo Olympics PBS Marvel Television MTV kids documentaries SXSW movies versus Shondaland adaptation TV movies Baby Yoda Mudbound royal family laika best sag awards joker fresh Podcast Lucasfilm CMT GLAAD HBO Go natural history Neflix Character Guide talk show Acorn TV crime thriller 72 Emmy Awards target sitcom docuseries criterion cancelled TV shows anime fast and furious directors Fall TV History 2015 worst video on demand Black History Month justice league Britbox sports cooking Ghostbusters what to watch Elton John comic book movies Summer golden globe awards king arthur Classic Film rt archives Apple TV Plus BAFTA halloween green book Set visit Reality Captain marvel GIFs transformers USA Network Showtime TIFF concert zombie Starz game of thrones disaster remakes Star Trek theme song dogs japan rt labs HBO Hallmark Christmas movies OneApp Toys telelvision romantic comedy Hallmark Hear Us Out Bravo Masterpiece X-Men action-comedy cinemax mutant independent 73rd Emmy Awards doctor who Television Academy Schedule First Look serial killer french DC Universe mockumentary hispanic Turner Comedy Central superman blockbusters AMC Best and Worst TCM 21st Century Fox international know your critic Pacific Islander social media 24 frames Legendary CBS All Access adenture basketball black comedy MCU biopic discovery TCA Winter 2020 OWN based on movie Chernobyl YouTube nbcuniversal Nominations PlayStation Turner Classic Movies stoner latino Epix elevated horror Polls and Games Food Network Fox News Endgame IFC Stephen King Holidays San Diego Comic-Con Musicals Trivia trailers sequels A24 unscripted 4/20 new zealand crime drama movie vs. heist movie Mary poppins A&E revenge MSNBC Nat Geo Election Christmas 2016 hidden camera rt labs critics edition Box Office Comics on TV Emmys Lifetime Christmas movies Cosplay superhero DC Comics renewed TV shows Lionsgate Marvel Interview binge dc anthology 20th Century Fox comic books football Marathons NYCC 2017 breaking bad SundanceTV Fantasy debate lord of the rings USA Pet Sematary indie DGA Paramount Network legend genre Kids & Family ESPN Dark Horse Comics cults DirecTV Video Games Paramount APB TV renewals Netflix Christmas movies suspense young adult Mary Tyler Moore Rocketman hist Disney Channel Amazon Prime Spectrum Originals reviews scene in color Arrowverse travel zombies Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Travel Channel spanish language docudrama Song of Ice and Fire TV blaxploitation Red Carpet Instagram Live science fiction IMDb TV Animation WarnerMedia See It Skip It thriller rotten movies we love TLC Disney+ Disney Plus Wes Anderson book adaptation south america child's play Valentine's Day Sundance Now ratings finale slashers Walt Disney Pictures parents golden globes new star wars movies video marvel comics Syfy scary movies quibi richard e. Grant BBC One Grammys a nightmare on elm street The Arrangement Warner Bros. Tomatazos The Walt Disney Company NBA prank Apple TV+ period drama biography Pixar spider-verse cars japanese popular Emmy Nominations batman Spike dramedy ABC marvel cinematic universe 2021 emmy awards Superheroes historical drama reboot cancelled TV series foreign Paramount Plus Film Festival Mary Poppins Returns witnail die hard cancelled slasher ABC Signature 71st Emmy Awards Biopics new york screen actors guild name the review Tumblr American Society of Cinematographers The CW harry potter Crunchyroll nfl stand-up comedy nature chucky boxing Spring TV The Witch Awards Tour National Geographic gangster Action IFC Films Black Mirror comics Comic Book films obituary Amazon Studios Rocky mission: impossible jurassic park President Ellie Kemper documentary hispanic heritage month Writers Guild of America Reality Competition PaleyFest TV One scorecard animated Peacock LGBT Year in Review diversity spain scary YA miniseries critic resources Adult Swim zero dark thirty sequel political drama monster movies Western screenings Holiday Nickelodeon james bond medical drama WGN DC streaming service live action saw Awards facebook TNT Discovery Channel TCA 2017 cartoon El Rey Music The Purge rotten dark Certified Fresh crime Horror Super Bowl Martial Arts The Academy aliens Esquire Shudder AMC Plus Rom-Com Anna Paquin Fox Searchlight war TV Land Pride Month christmas movies Pirates politics Disney NBC worst movies kong FOX wonder woman singing competition Avengers psycho Exclusive Video FX Image Comics high school Quiz jamie lee curtis live event Pop TV feel good award winner Watching Series vampires free movies streaming movies game show 2019 blockbuster teaser cats