Blockers – Review

Ike Barinholtz as Hunter, Leslie Mann as Lisa and John Cena as Mitchell in Blockers – Courtesy of Universal Pictures.

Shoddy in concept yet entertaining in execution, Blockers offers plenty of laughs for audiences that are looking for crude humour and extensive entertainment value. That’s all anyone can really ask for, right?

Blockers follows three highschool students over the course of a single night as their three parents decide they are going to interfere with their children’s intent of having intercourse on prom night.

Very few films can handle a shaky story and questionable writing; Blockers doesn’t just survive, it flourishes. With nearly half a dozen screenwriters and no discernible reason for this film to work, Blockers simply does – from the neat and clean comedic timing to the surprisingly emotionally effective portrayals from the cast, Blockers offers nearly everything required from a standard slapstick American comedy. It’s clear that director Kay Cannon has a talent for bringing a cast together and making the best of a situation that would spell disaster for many directors. Balancing comedy and attaining a knack for comedic timing is paramount for making many comedies worth their salt. This film is crude, rowdy, and offers up audiences some compelling messages that felt earnt with all this films buildup and ludicrousness. As a loud and objectively ridiculous comedy it’s self-aware in what it is and utilizes that outrageous and over-the-top nature to its advantage.

The unusual mix from John Cena, Leslie Mann, and Ike Barinholtz offer a tasteful variety of personalities to work with. Cena again acts as the friendly giant with an extremely emotional side, much like we see from other larger statured actors like Dwayne Johnson. Cena is by no means an example of a convincing act, but his unique showmanship on-screen from his years in wrestling allows for some often hilarious facial reactions. Leslie Mann works well, her consistent work in comedies as an often adrift mom with issues of her own does get tiresome, and leaves you wondering whether she has been heavily type-casted due to her consistent delivery. The wildcard of the group comes from Ike Barinholtz, his humour can be hit or miss but he comes in as both the voice of reason and offers some of the biggest laughs from the entire film. Then there’s three other supporting roles from each daughter, surprisingly all of which were strong and each with their own quirky personality and issues of their own to figure out.

With a nice flow and steady pace it was nice to see a comedy that could keep you engaged for the sake of entertaining structure and not cheap parlor tricks designed to snag your attention. Surprisingly, there are a few good shots that show camera movement rather than a 2 or 3 camera set up. Unfortunately the film doesn’t establish a particular style with its camerawork or frame composition. Lacking visually in almost every area this film took no leaps to find interesting locations and take it a step further. Though some of the sound mixing is good what is truly left in the dust was its soundtrack, despite comedies usually utilizing music to their advantage audiences get nothing in return from Blockers.

Solid characters within a shaky story, Blockers is still worth a watch, additionally the underlying messages about girls learning to make their own decisions as they flourish into womanhood leaves for a meaningful message.

5.7/10

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