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) 47%

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) 64%

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

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