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) 40%

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) 48%

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

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