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

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