Movie Reviews

Blockers – A Raunchy Comedy With Heart

A raunchy comedy that’s a lot more.

Synopsis: When three parents discover their daughters’ pact to lose their virginity at prom, they launch a covert one-night operation to stop the teens from sealing the deal. (Universal Pictures)

Starring: Leslie Mann, Ike Barinholtz, and John Cena

Writers: Brian Kehoe and Jim Kehoe

Director: Kay Cannon

Rating: 14A (Canada)/R (United States)

Running Time: 102mins

Trailer: 

For showtimes and more, check out Blockers on movietimes.com.

Raunchy comedies go either way as they often alienate viewers by appealing to the lowest common denominator. Most of them succeed anyway doing this and this new film will surely succeed but it will do so by doing something a little different. Instead of just being a cavalcade of lowbrow humor, there’s actually a story here. Teen sex comedies are usually male-centered, however, a trio of females are the focus this time and as much as it was about these young women, it was also about their parents who were trying to stop them.

Julie (Kathryn Newton), Sam (Gideon Adlon), and Kayla (Geraldine Viswanathan) were a trio of young women who made a pact to each lose their virginities during prom night. Standing in their way was their protective parents, Lisa (Mann), Hunter (Barinholtz), and Mitchell (Cena). It was out of the love for their children that they believed that their daughters were about to make a big mistake that could ruin their lives and that it was up to them to stop it. Not only were they worried about that, their daughters were also getting older and held different insecurities from this.

Most of the comedy of the film came from the parents’ pursuit of their children. In order to keep up with them, they had to overcome the generational gap between them. Their cluelessness throughout brought on some hilarious moments along the way which just made the many ridiculous situations they got themselves into even funnier. While their daughters may have been friends, the relationship between the parents was as strong. A compelling part of the film was watching them grow closer to one another over their time together.

The raunchiness of the film came from the daughters who were not shy about what they wanted. The language used here seemed slightly unrealistic and may go a little too far for some viewers. They were still fun to watch and had some hilarious moments of their own while being normal highschool students, however, they weren’t nearly as compelling as their parents despite the fact that they drove the plot. The film ultimately doesn’t make an argument for or against teens having sex, tackling the topic from a different perspective.

The daughters weren’t as developed as the parents, however not by much, and not all of them got the same focus which hurt them as a whole as the story was about their character arcs and not all of them landed. The same was the case with the parents but their disparity didn’t affect their arcs as much. Besides the raunchy comedy, the film was much more as it was also a coming of age story for both the daughters and the parents as they both learned valuable lessons about themselves and their relationships grew stronger as a result.

The performances were the best part of the film, more specifically that of the adults. Mann, Barinholtz, and Cena were great and had excellent chemistry as Lisa, the cool mom, Hunter, the sleazy divorced dad, and Mitchell, the overprotective dad respectively. Cena stood out amongst the three as he made the biggest impression here, comedically speaking. Newton, Adlon, and Viswanathan were good as Julia, Sam, and Kayla and had great chemistry in their own right.

Overall, this was a hilarious comedy that does more than cater to the lowest common denominator by balancing both raunchiness and heart thanks to a smart script that takes a familiar story in a different direction, great performances by Leslie Mann, Ike Barinholtz, and John Cena, and an admirable message about parenting and responsibility.

Score: 8/10

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4 replies »

  1. I have seen the trailer for this in the theater a couple of times, and struggled to think of a way to say how someone such as myself doesn’t have any desire to see this. Your review put the words into my mouth perfectly with the first line.

    I’m the epitome of the lowest common denominator, but I am usually alienated by these type of raunchy comedies. There’s typically just too much of a good thing. I usually leave the theater thinking if it was 30 to 45 minutes I’d rate it a 5/5 and even come away feeling like I got a value for my money. But instead what happens is there’s 40 minutes of good material and they jam in needlessly vulgar and less than funny junk to fill up 90 minutes. A good example is Meet the Parents. It was hilarious for about 45 minutes, then it just got so bad for the guy it wasn’t funny anymore.

    Maybe this one will be different. I don’t know if I’ll see it to find out.