Hot Take: Some combination of Superbad, American Pie and Porky’s sprinkled with sex-positive feminism. Also, the adult trio of Cena, Mann and Barinholtz deliver laughs, too.
There’s a good chance we’ll see Kathryn Newton, Geraldine Viswanathan and Gideon Adlon again. The trio of actresses who portray high school seniors who join in a sex pact as they head to prom night in Blockers will likely be sought after much like their counterparts have in past high school comedies. Although the trio aren’t necessarily the stars of the film — John Cena, Leslie Mann and Ian Barinholtz take up the majority of the screen time — these three are the heart and soul of the raunchy, sex-positive teen comedy that takes the rare path of featuring females instead of males in the main teenage roles. Maybe the fact that the teens are female is why this studio comedy spent so much time focusing on the adult characters who are bound and determined to stop their daughters from losing their virginity on prom night but, heck, it’s a start, right?
Julie (Newton) tells her friends Kayla (Viswanathan) and Sam (Adlon) that she has decided to lose her virginity on prom night. Eventually, the three form a sex pact and vow to all have sex after prom with their dates. Julie’s mom Lisa (Mann) accidentally discovers the plan when in her daughter’s room after her daughter accidentally leaves her MacBook on and her text messages are able to be seen. Lisa enlists Kayla’s dad Mitchell (Cena) to help in her plan to stop the teens from what they think will be the biggest mistake of their lives and eventually, after wanting to stop them, they are also helped by Hunter (Barinholtz) who wants to stop his daughter because he intuitively knows she is a lesbian and doesn’t want her to feel pressured by her friends to do the same thing.
A solid mix of raunchiness, sentimentality and humor provides the framework for what is a surprisingly hilarious film featuring yet another opportunity for John Cena to show that he can deliver in a comedic role as the sensitive and overprotective Mitchell who sees his daughter only as the athletic tomboy he helped shape through her formative years. While Cena is cast against type, Mann and Barinholtz basically reprise their roles from previous comedies but prove why their typically cast in this light. Not all of the humor hits but it’s rapid-fire approach and occasional big laughs make up for the times where Blockers swings and misses. It is also able to deliver laughs beyond the trailer which is impressive because of the amount of jokes the trailer teases thus giving away the majority of the plot… not that it’s much of a shock where this one is headed.
Referring to Blockers as this decade’s Superbad might be a reach. However, Blockers has plenty of laughs and heart to provide a willing audience with an entertaining 102 minutes filled with laughs. There’s a little too much schmaltz and the attempted interference from the parents reaches borderline absurd heights but, for the most part, Blockers is a funny and even occasionally riotous comedy that overcomes it’s generic plot with some light touches and overall warm and fuzzy moments. While not as funny as Game Night, Blockers is easily the second funniest film of the year so far and those two at the top of the list this early in 2018 bodes well for a genre that has struggled mightily over the last few years.
It’s a gender bending take on the horny high schooler sex comedy.
It’s mostly about the parents because Hollywood thinks you can’t handle a teen comedy focused on female characters.