Note: This is a spoiler-free Blockers movie review
Alright, I’ll admit it. Before I walked into the screener for Blockers I thought it would just be another crappy comedy movie with mediocre actors and mediocre jokes.
I’m also happy to admit when I’m wrong.
Blockers is an R-rated comedy that does raunchy and over-the-top comedy right, with a certain performance that stands out and will make you take notice.
A lot of the hype around the movie is calling it an updated version of Superbad, and that’s actually not far off. Seth Rogen has his hands in both, so the connection makes sense. The movie itself is about three high school kids and their relationship with sex while crazy antics ensue so that connection is there as well. In other words, I think it’s safe to say Blockers is a worthy younger sibling to Superbad. If you enjoyed the adventures of Seth, Evan, and McLovin, you’ll enjoy this movie.
Having the template in place is all well and good, but there’s still the matter of execution. Credit is due for Brian and Jim Kehoe, who have nailed it in essentially their first Hollywood try. Writing is the straw that stirs the drink in comedy. These two provide laugh-out-loud one-liners and craft ridiculous scenes that allow hilarity to ensue.
Also, I have to give credit to the Kehoes for implanting a legitimate message inside an outrageous comedy like Blockers. One of the girls, Sam, is having hesitations about the virginity pact. The way this storyline unfolds actually lands and has you leaving the theater laughing but also thinking. I don’t know how they pulled it off, but it may be some kind of writing master class.
I would also be remiss to not give Kay Cannon credit for putting that writing into motion as the director. This is her first shot at directing, and she nailed the outrageous scenes. Blockers is a promising start to a career of comedy directing for Cannon.
Where The Actors Fit In
Now for the actors who execute the writing and directing to create the laugh.
Sticking with the Superbad theme, the parallel of three teenage girls in high school to three teenage boys in high school is pretty obvious. The formula here is clearly, “hey let’s give the characters playing teenagers the raunchy things to say! People will always laugh at that!” It’s rudimentary and immature, really. But I’ll be damned if it didn’t work in 2007, and it still works today.
I’m not sure what else to tell you. I don’t hear characters playing teenage girls saying the things said in Blockers very often and it makes me laugh. Kathryn Newton (Julie), Geraldine Viswanathan (Kayla), and Gideon Adlon (Sam) all take their one-liner opportunities and run with them. Newton fires off one line in particular about a candy bar that is the most memorable of the movie. Viswanathan’s moment comes at the end of the film while the girls are sitting on the couch together. Kudos to these three for leaning into their roles like they did.
While the girls are funny in their own right, the movie mainly focuses on three parents. Leslie Mann plays the over-the-top annoying parent who learns a lesson at the end. Not a fan, but the movie wouldn’t make sense without her and she does have some funny parts.
Ike Barinholtz plays the disgraced and divorced father who doesn’t understand his daughter. He drinks too much, tries too hard to be the cool dad, and of course, learns a lesson in the end. Barinholtz is probably the most accomplished comedian coming into the film and that shows in the movie.
And then there’s John Cena. The stigma of WWE wrestler attempting to become an actor has been hard to wash away traditionally. But now
Dwayne Johnson The Rock is the biggest movie star in the world and Dave Bautista is part of the biggest Marvel series going not named Black Panther.
Cena is good in Blockers. It’s really as simple as that.
The wrestler-turned-actor knows what works for him. He’s a massive human being, and it’s funny to watch massive human beings do physical comedy. That is on full display in this film, and it works nearly every time. NEVER FORGET THE ROCK STARTED OUT AS THE TOOTH FAIRY. Cena is starting to find his footing in Hollywood, and I say good for him.
Should I Go See Blockers?
This depends on the type of comedy you enjoy. If you’re into the Superbad style of raunchy, outrageous, and embarrassing then absolutely. For me, a comedy being rated R is a qualifier anymore, so I really enjoyed it. If you feel the same way you’ll enjoy Blockers too.
(Featured Image via ComingSoon.net)