Review: Blockers

7 10

PLOT: After learning about a prom night sex pact between their daughters, three parents (Leslie Mann, John Cena & Ike Barinholtz) chase after them, hell-bent on keeping the girls from losing their virginity.

REVIEW: Considering the absolute lack of decent big-screen comedies these days, Kay Cannon’s BLOCKERS (actually – C**KBLOCKERS if you go by the clever posters) is a nice little surprise. Well-written, and sporting a likable cast, this is easily one of the best mainstream comedies to hit the multiplex at least since Judd Apatow stopped churning them out regularly (although this is packed with his usual collaborators, including wife Leslie Mann and co-producers Seth Rogen & Evan Goldberg).

Granted, the premise is insane. I don’t care how well-meaning a parent is, the only ones that would chase around their daughters on prom night to keep them from having sex are nuts. To the movie’s credit, this is subverted somewhat by having the typical man-child character (Ike Barinholtz) be the lone voice of reason. Having Leslie Mann and John Cena play the nutty folks helps, as both give off such a likable vibe you never really get too creeped out by what they’re doing.

Cannon’s film also gives equal focus to the daughters, played by Kathryn Newton, Geraldine Viswanathan, and Gideon Adlon. It’s rare you get a movie about teen girls having a good time drinking and hooking up without some kind of schmaltzy moralizing (a ludicrous double standard), so watching the three of them just cut loose and have a good time makes it an oddly empowering film for audiences. You’re really on their side the whole time.

The fact that the boys the girls want to hook up with are portrayed as utterly decent is a nice touch too, with none of them pressuring the girls, and more than willing to put the brakes on things if need be. Even the sloppy kid, Chad (Jimmy Bellinger) who's the brunt of a lot of jokes, proves himself to be a more-than-ok guy when it comes down to it.

Still, Mann, Cena and Barinholtz make their actions palatable because you know they all mean well in their over-bearing ways. Mann is hilarious as the single mom who says she’s trying to keep her daughter from repeating her mistakes, but just can’t stand the fact that the daughter wants to follow her boyfriend to UCLA, and thinks sex will just make her love him more. Always a gifted comedienne, there’s a great slapstick sequence with Mann near the end as she fumbles around a hotel room that’s among the funniest bits I’ve seen in awhile.

By contrast, Barinholtz plays more to type as the Rogen-esque slacker, but they give him some depth. Early-on, everyone hates him because he cheated on his wife, but he’s given agency of his own that makes his character a nice surprise. The revelation though is John Cena, who goes all-in on his worried-dad routine, carrying himself in a hilarious way where he seems uncomfortable with his size. In FERDINAND he voiced a literal bull in a china shop; here you nearly get to see him act it out for real. Some of the best moments belong to him, such as a soon-to-be-classic scene where he chugs a 40… through his anus.

BLOCKERS really is a nice comedy treat for audiences underserved by that particular genre, which has been in the dog house for years. BLOCKERS is done just right, with depth, some genuine feeling, and a whole lot of honest-to-God belly laughs. It’s well worth checking out.

Source: JoBlo.com



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