Blockers is what happens executives in the proverbial Hollywood board room pull out of the scenario hat: “What if… you had three overly attached parents trying to stop their kids losing their virginity?” Greg from Marketing says, “Have we done that one yet?” and they search through their catalogue … “No it’s not the Hangover, or Horrible Bosses, or Bad Neighbours. All clear – here’s $20 million, get it done.”
Even watching the trailers before the film I realized the size of the market for situational based comedy flicks. There will always be room for movies like this to exist. They’re cheap and simple to make, there’s an infinite combination of funny actors to couple together, and the ideas are vast in their possibility in terms of the randomness of their concepts.
Perhaps most shockingly in the banality of this idea is the slickness of the execution. Yes it’s corny, often cliché and relies on slapstick for the biggest punch lines, but the audience I saw it with loved it (based off the level of cackles) so if the formula ain’t broke, why fix it?
There is a surprising level of heart here. Perhaps it can be boiled down to the chemistry strangely working between Leslie Mann, Ike Barinholtz and John Cena, who all get their moment to steal a scene in a story that despite its mediocrity flows consistently with plot and jokes and makes you care about them, albeit only a little bit.
The three leading girls (all relative newcomers except the rising star of Kathryn Newton) hold their own as the real ‘main characters’, the femme version of Superbad essentially, as the three besties make a sex pact for their prom night, much to the chagrin of their overbearing parents who do everything they can to stop that from happening for each of their own selfish reasons.
They’re strong and responsible young women which is a core theme of Blockers, despite its caprice. Director Kay Cannon (first time –but wrote the first two Pitch Perfect movies) has an obvious message about equality and feminism in this, which doesn’t feel ham-fisted, moreso ‘about time’, exploring the ideas of sexuality and maturity and the role parents can play in unconscious sexism towards their own kids; deep stuff for a film that has a scene with Cena butt-chugging a beer in it.
Through a plethora of scenes, scenarios and gags, Blockers somehow manages to keep you watching the whole time, which is difficult in the meme-based society of now. Is it worth the price of admission? That depends how willing you are to turn your brain off. Certainly helped watching it amongst a crowd – I’m not afraid to say it got a few chuckles from me. If you know to set the bar low, you may find the film pole-vaults it, but only just.
Dendy – home of quality cinema