Blockers: Film Review
Cast: John Cena, Leslie Mann, Ike Barinholtz, Geraldine Viswanathan, Kathryn Newton, Gideon Adlon
Director: Kay Cannon
The sex comedy cum coming of age is a well-mined story trope.
Guaranteed easy laughs, combined with some gross-out gags, mean simple box office returns and plenty of brain-on-cruise-control viewing.
So it is with Blockers, a film that promised little, but manages to deliver more than expected, despite a depressingly obvious slide into sentiment on the final run.
Cena, Mann and Barinholtz play a triumvirate of parents, with varying degrees of issues of control.
Thrust together when their three daughters start school and bond, the group's now at the cusp of dealing with womanhood from their siblings.
On Prom Night, all three of the girls (Viswanathan, Newton, Adlon, all solid and fully formed) decide they plan to lose their virginities to their respective partners. Forming an apparently secret pact, they set about their plans.
But when the parents find out, they decide to set out and stop it from happening...
The thing with Blockers is that its mix of being a take on uptight parents letting go, kids growing up and moments of gross oddly brings the funny when it should without ever really going too far.
As the aforementioned slide into sentimental growing and hugging mush descends (something Seinfeld always railed against), Blockers depresses a little in that it doesn't quite buck the trend in the way it initially sets out to do so.
Whether it's really a female take on the situation given it's written by five guys is debatable.
But what it does do throughout is it gives the female youngsters equal pegging and they feel real rather than sexual constructs and conquests. While their story pales as the parents' quest intensifies, the overwhelming take-out is that these kids are alright, and sensible in the face of parental paranoia.
Plus special commendation must be given to Leslie Mann's physical work towards end, which is nothing short of genius.
Cena's uptight jock father is solid, and Barinholtz's estranged dad, looking to reconnect, feels real and grounded during the awkward moments.
In fact, that's where Blockers succeeds, it feels more grounded than outlandish, more sensible than sensational - and as a result, whilst it's not riotous laugh a minute fare, it's infinitely more entertaining than its woefully worn out genre would lead you to believe it could - and should - be.