Review: Sex comedy BLOCKERS mixes heart with raunch

April 7, 2018

Courtesy of Universal Pictures

 

“Blockers” has a barrage of dick punchlines, drug humor and even John Cena committing to a buttchug. Though Kay Cannons (writer of all three “Pitch Perfect” films) directorial debut, uses all those elements to her advantage which sets up the film as a cross between “Superbad” and “American Pie.” Like those movies, “Blockers” is a raunchy sex comedy where horny teenagers want nothing more than to lose their virginity. Except this instance, in a fun shake up of the genre, the girls are the ones trying to break their cherries and spouting out filthy jargon (“penis is for use, it’s not to look at,”) all while trying to commemorate their #Sexpact2k18

 

The kicker is their obsessive parents (John Cena, Ike Barinholtz and Leslie Mann) inadvertently stumble upon their private group chat detailing their plans using strategic emojis; “I’ve just seen Inferno” Barinholtz character yells “I understand this.” Watching these three try and decipher that an eggplant emoji really means something else is exactly as rewarding as you’d think. But what stretches the veil of plausibility is the trio of parents then proceed to track down their kids and selflessly attempt to thwart them from fulfilling their sexual deviancy. Why you ask? Because the plot demands it.

 

The better story lies within the girls sexual conquests and the female actors (Kathryn Newton, Geraldine Viswanathan and Gideon Adlon) all have flawless chemistry that make their rants about doing the deed seem like a badge of honor, rather than tasteless writing. It’s true when Cena’s wife in the film (played here by Sarayu Blue) goes on a rant stating how absurd it is that the clan is trying to intervene on their children's prom night, stating how if they were men it would be celebrated, but since they’re not, well, naturally, it somehow is supposed to be worse. I thought to myself, ‘Good. I’m glad someone finally pointed out the double standard in that context.’

 

Really, “Blockers” shows just how much females want to partake in the activity more so than men, and I think that it aids for some perfect comedy. Viswanathan in particular has some wonderful scenes and terrific rock sold timing. As does the three parental figures, that spout the occasional quip, “WWVDD,” which means “What would Vin Diesel do” in reference to a scene that has the gang engaging in a high speed chase, that had me rolling. And I really need to commend actors Cena and a late supporting role by Gary Cole for truly bearing it all and simply tagging along for the lewd ride.

 

At the same time, for every joke that does land, almost immediately it tries to up the ante in the next scene and usually misses the mark (Hannibal Buress in a thankless role as a guy named Frank is hardy purposeful.) In that regard, “Blockers,” which if you haven't guessed by now is a spin on the word “c*** blockers,” feels like it’s competing with itself, as strange as that might sound. And that only gets stranger when you have Canon trying to infuse sentimental moments, with the mixture of some disgustingly creative set pieces. In a way, that’s admirable and rather than strife at the notion, I tried to embrace the idea.

 

Still, I’m recommending the film on the basis of the comedy which is very funny. I enjoyed “Blockers” in the same way some enjoy hors’ d’oeuvres before a meal. You feast and feast on small crackers at a time and you get angry once you realize you’ve filled up on appetizers, and your dinner hasn’t arrived yet. In a sense, “Blockers” is all filler, but at least its heart is in the right place.

 

Grade: B

 

Rated R for rating is for crude and sexual content, and language throughout, drug content, teen partying, and some graphic nudity

Runtime: 99 minutes

 

 

 

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