Starring John Cena, Leslie Mann, Ike Barinholtz, Kathryn Newton, Geraldine Viswanathan, Gideon Adlon
Like Trainwreck or Daddy’s Home, Blockers is a double scoop of raunchy American comedy sprinkled with life lessons. “Blockers” refers to the vulgar term “c*ck blocker,” meaning someone who interferes with another’s opportunity for casual sex. Pitch Perfect producer Kay Cannon making her directorial debut here, and I can’t figure out who she is targeting with this movie. Both parents and younger audiences found a lot to laugh about in this vulgar, slapstick, ironic comedy. The narrative in the script alternates between the group of parents and the group of teenage girls. However, each time the film gets to an impactful or emotional moment, it’s instantly destroyed by something absurd.
Parents and neighbors Mitchell (Cena), Lisa (Mann), and Hunter (Barinholtz) all have daughters who have become inseparable friends since childhood. Now seniors, preparing for their high school prom, the girls Julie (Newton), Sam (Adlon) and Kayla (Viswanathan) make a pact to lose their virginity before the night is over. Julie leaves her laptop open in her room, which allows her mother, Lisa, to discover their plans. Lisa rounds up the two fathers to pursue the girls and stop their sex pact before it’s too late. The parents endure a wild night of chasing the teens only to discover, they are the ones who are really lacking maturity.
It might not be what occurs on screen that gives Blockers its greatest value, but the conversations the film sparks between parents and teens after the credits roll.
Blockers begins with a message that sex is something that the girls want “over and done with before college.” This alarming “no big deal” attitude might be an instant put-off to some parents. However, the film rallies that message into something more acceptable and tolerable as the comedy plays out. There are more softer moments in Blockers than you might anticipate from the trailer. Cannon seems more adept at balancing the vulgar with the sentimental than most American comedy directors. Still the ridiculousness of the plot takes its toll by the third act. Perhaps Blockers greatest single moment is one you may have already seen in the trailer, where the parents try to interpret secret emoji messages. It would not surprise me if that scene was the inception for the entire script. It’s the movie’s highpoint.
During one of the film’s most intense moments of discovery, Marcie (Sarayu Blue), who is the only sensible character in the entire film, gives an intelligent speech about equality. Mitchell states that boys losing their virginity is different from girls losing theirs, to which Marcie responds with a brief, but resounding retort. It’s applaud worthy scenes like this that Blockers needs more of in the script. Of course, the film is too focused on flipping SUV’s, penis jokes and butt-chugging to be emotionally impactful. It might not be what occurs on screen that gives Blockers its greatest value, but the conversations the film sparks between parents and teens after the credits roll.
Showered with brief insightful moments between gags, this vulgar American comedy is familiar.