Blockers, Movie Review
Being a parent looks tough. Actually, being a high school student looks just as tough, if not tougher. I only know how one feels and I ain’t got no kids. But the beauty of Blockers is it shows the hilarious, raunchy, and surprisingly sincere sides of both.
The hope of raising your daughter to do the right thing while keeping them safe from harm is pitted against the pressures of being a girl and using prom night to blossom into a woman. The sex-filled narrative has been stripped down to its bare bones, but times are a changing with director Kay Cannon putting some fresh meat on it. The result is an untamed, progressive teen comedy with a fresh perspective of ladies laying down the law. Girls rule and boys drool has never been more fitting.
Kayla (Geraldine Viswanathan), Julie (Kathryn Newton), and Sam (Gideon Adlon) are the bestest of friends and before their high school lives are over, they’re all going to lose their virginity on Prom night. No shocker there. They share everything else, so why not? Their sex pact is discovered once the emoji Da Vinci Code is broken by their parents. Hell would have to freeze over before they let their sweet, innocent little girls seal such a sacred deal.
Julie’s mom Lisa (Leslie Mann) is a single parent with a severe case of future empty nest syndrome. Kayla’s dad Mitchell (John Cena) is a big softie, getting teary-eyed at every second of her growing up. And there’s Sam’s dad Hunter (Ike Barinholtz) who is a divorcee desperately trying to be the cool parent, but is never around. These three have the night to figure out where their girls are and how to rescue them from themselves. The mission is ridiculous, but through the grossed-out gags that shock and one-line zingers that sting, Blockers is poignant and reasonably reflective on the intricate relationship between a parent and child.
With their impeccable timing and slapstick comedy, everyone in this excellent cast deserves major praise. Mann is marvelous as a mother not wanting to let go, being more worried about how she will feel than what her daughter really wants. Barinholtz brings a goofiness of being a father that seems to get everything and nothing all at the same time. And there’s no ignoring Cena who uses everything from his size to his haircut to his ass to wrestle out the laughs. He is really finding his groove in the comedy world.
Newton, Viswanathan, and Adlon aren’t going to be upstaged by the adults. Their chemistry is just as electric and they’re no dummies. Cannon makes them independent, open-minded, and sensible, and together their friendship is supportive and candid. An obvious oddment for this genre.
Blockers jabs with jokes and will give you what you expect. You want obscenity, nudity, and gawky lovemaking? You got it! Beyond that, you’ll also see an unusual understanding of what’s on young women’s minds when it comes to maturity and the anticipation of sex. This is precisely why the movie needs a female voice like Cannon calling the shots. She evokes empowerment in an evocative environment littered with drugs, drinking, condoms and butt-chugging.
“Nature Boy” Brandon Vick is the resident film critic of the SoBros Network, and star of Brandon’s Box Office In Your Mouth. Follow him on Twitter@SirBrandonV and be sure to search #VicksFlicks for all of his latest movie reviews.