Critic Consensus: Blockers puts a gender-swapped spin on the teen sex comedy -- one elevated by strong performances, a smartly funny script, and a surprisingly enlightened perspective.
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Critic Reviews for Blockers
But it's really the parents who take center stage in [Blockers] this raunchy and fitfully quite funny directorial debut Kay Cannon, which plumbs plenty of warm hugs from the idea of parental angst about their kids leaving the nest.
Mining uptightness for all its comic potential, Blockers comes down, proudly, on the side of the unblocked.
On a positive note, this will probably best be remembered for giving the lusty trio of female offspring the ultimate power of post-formal hotel room-veto.
Cannon is dialed into how a teen girl prepping for what's, till then, the most memorable night of her life is no passive victim - she's a peak control freak
A generational clash as old as time-the parents who think of themselves as progressive and cool, versus their mortified children who view them as anything but.
Audience Reviews for Blockers
This film is good for some laughs, but it's ultimately just three C- to C+ comedic actors coming together with some okay young actresses to create a film that is exactly the sum of its parts. Even this film's biggest fans likely only enjoyed it to a certain degree. Mann, Cena and Barinholtz all have a certain chemistry, but overall this movie is very high floor, low ceiling, and forgettable in the end.
I LOVE C*CK - My Review of BLOCKERS (3 1/2 Stars) For me, comedies have it a lot easier than most genres when it comes to film criticism, because all of the other filmmaking elements such as cinematography, editing, and production design don't matter at all as long as people laugh. Look at CLERKS for example. It's complete lack of aesthetics meant nothing because audiences found it funny. Some of my favorite comedies of all time (WAITING FOR GUFFMAN, BEST IN SHOW, THIS IS SPINAL TAP) don't look like LAWRENCE OF ARABIA, but I don't care. The barometer remains simple. So it appears with BLOCKERS, a dopey teen sex comedy that truly made me laugh more often than not, despite a fairly pedestrian directorial style. It features fun, rich characters who pop, the requisite gross-out scenes we've come to know and love ever since Judd Apatow began insisting on bodily fluids flying everywhere in his comedies, and an unexpected and refreshing level of diversity. Debuting Director Kay Cannon (writer of the PITCH PERFECT movies) and screenwriters Brian and Jim Kehoe may color inside the lines of the comedy template, but they also have fun skirting across those edges at times in unexpected ways. The story centers around three lifelong teenaged friends who all vow to lose their virginity at the Senior Prom while their parents do everything in their power to stop them. Before you start f*cking an AMERICAN PIE, it's not as derivative as it sounds, because the writers have done a wonderful job of making us care about the daughters and their parents. Julie (THREE BILLBOARDS' murdered daughter Kathryn Newton) has the most conventional role as Lisa's (Leslie Mann) perennially texting, boy-crazy child, but she has a very sweet chemistry with both her mom and her boyfriend Austin (Graham Phillips). In the past, this mother-daughter team would be the white center around which every other character revolved. Luckily, the rest of the cast gets equal screen time, making this a true ensemble film. John Cena's big lug, Dad-joking Mitchell and his much smarter South Asian spouse Marcie (Sarayu Blue) have a delightful daughter Kayla (Geraldine Viswanathan, a true find). Athletic, articulate, funny, spirited and refreshingly horny as hell, she makes the most of her considerable screen time as she dates the school's man-bun-sporting drug dealer, Connor (a perfectly cast Miles Robbins who just looks like "that guy"). Watching her navigate drug use and sex with the zaniness of Jonah Hill while looking like a young Priyanka Chopra makes for a truly winning portrayal. Finally, we have the fantastic Gideon Adlon as Sam, who struggles with her lesbianism by going to the prom with a goofy beard while fawning over the more out and proud Angelica (SANTA CLARITA DIET standout Ramona Young). Angelica knows how to work glitter and a swooshing cape into the art of seduction and it's a joy behold. Sam's deadbeat dad Hunter (THE MINDY PROJECT's Ike Barinholtz) tries to make up for lost time with his daughter by joining Lisa and Mitchell on their all-night quest to c*ckblock their daughters. It's easy to check off the tropes in this film: - Vomiting scene - check - A crazy kegger - check - Stuff going up peoples' butts - check - Full Frontal Nudity featuring Gary Cole and Gena Gershon? - Check - Car crashes - check Yet, despite it fitting the pattern, I still managed to feel surprised. The car wreck, for example, has a delightfully vertical sight gag. John Cena plays to his strengths as a fun comedian in the way The Rock does so well, and he even manages to make the butt scene not homophobic, which almost NEVER happens in these types of comedies. Without spoiling anything, Leslie Mann has a great sense of physical comedy in her big hotel room scene, literally rising to the level of electric. You won't forget the big moment anytime soon, and I couldn't stop laughing. BLOCKERS also moved me. Leslie Mann has a way with her whiny monotone voice that draws me in when it could easily do the opposite. I felt for her as she lamented her upcoming empty nest life. I loved Ike Barinholtz's loveable idiot and the way he reacts to his daughter's sexuality should be taught in schools. Even though John Cena is a limited actor, he blended so well with his family, matching their crazy energy. It's no coincidence that a SIXTEEN CANDLES poster hangs in the background of a scene. BLOCKERS may not match that classic, despite the many problems with that film, but it comes pretty close to me, AND...I laughed more.
Blockers (nee Cock Blockers, and changed on some posters to appear like Rooster-Shape Blockers) is like getting two fairly funny sex comedies in one. We have the perspective of the panicked parents (Leslie Mann, John Cena, Ike Barinholtz) who are doing whatever they can to thwart their daughters from seeing through their presumed deflowering pact on prom night. We also have the horny teen perspective from the teen girls (Kaitlyn Newton, Geraldine Viswanathan, Gideon Adlon). Each group has their own character arcs and comic set pieces, flunkies and wild supporting characters, and as they criss-cross over the course of one debauched night, lessons will be learned and, more importantly, feel earned. I was steadily impressed with how much Blockers does and does well, chiefly maintaining a sex positive attitude and never supporting the parents in their hysterical, generally sexist alarm. Each parent has to confront their feelings about really letting their daughter grow up, and that relationship leads to a sweet moment for each to acknowledge the error of their ways and grow closer with their child. If this had come out in the 80s or 90s, I'm sure the film would have adopted the parental viewpoint as correct. Hell, if it came out in the 80s, the fact that one of the daughters is gay would have been a source of shock or shame. Today, the father already knows and supports his daughter being a lesbian (he frets she'll feel pressured to lose her virginity to the wrong sex). Oh, on top of all that, the movie is pretty funny from start to finish thanks to a deep cast of characters. Cena impressed with 2015's Trainwreck and he shows yet again the promise of his heretofore-untapped comic resources. There is one comic set piece involving blind couple foreplay that feels downright inspired as it develops. Blockers is a raunchy sex comedy with more on its mind than yuks. It's got a sweet center that allows the characters and their relationships to feel genuine. When you care about the people onscreen, it helps eliminate the sense of downtime. Nate's Grade: B
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