Blockers is a comedy which will surprise many people. On first glance it seems like the usual, offensive, immature humour you can come to expect from a movie dealing with teenagers, out of touch parents and sex but there is a clever humour and a sweet story which runs through Blockers.
The central idea is that three over-protective parents discover that their daughters have a sex-pact for prom night and attempt to stop it. Cue a one-night journey which sees bizarre occurrences such as crashing cars, butt-chugging, bizarre sexual encounters and knocking out dancing kids… and this is just the parents. These may not sound like the most profound or funny of events but Blockers has a good gag rate. Not everything lands but you will be laughing throughout, mainly at some well-staged scenes and great dialogue between the three interfering parents.
Those parents are very well-cast and one of the biggest strengths of the movie. Leslie Mann is the comedy rock, reliable and clearly able to handle material that she can deliver funnily in her sleep. The same can be said for Ike Barinholtz too. Although Barinholtz doesn’t have the name or recognition that Mann does, his comedy credentials are proven too and here he gets the better lines and arguably the best of the stories.
The outside bet which pays off better than you’d think is John Cena. It is yet to be seen how WWE Superstar John Cena’s movie career will play out but he shows a good talent for both dialogue and physical comedy here. He plays against type as a more sensitive and naive character and it adds to the comedy. He isn’t the best thing in the movie but he certainly doesn’t bring the quality down.
Although the film does primarily focus on the parents, the kids are well-written too. The danger with any comedy focusing on teenagers wanting to have sex is that it will write the kids poorly or not as mature as they should be. Here the three girls, played by Kathryn Newton, Geraldine Viswanathan and Gideon Adlan, are well-constructed and fleshed-out characters in their own right. They have sub-plots of their own, be it dealing with homosexuality, first loves or just a desire to get sex “out of the way.” They have some great comedy moments too and mean the films work at each level of the plot.
It doesn’t hit on every front though and although it is very funny, some of the more dramatic and emotional beats fall short. Barinholtz gets one of the better stories but doesn’t convince when he needs to be serious rather than the fall guy. It means the conclusion of the movie and where it ends doesn’t have the right impact considering the excellent build before it.
Overall, Blockers will surprise many people who will just expect a silly sex comedy. Instead it is a well-written, clever look at parents and teenagers while still finding space for John Cena to chug beer through his butt. A great comedy.
Rating – 4
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