I often think about what I may be like as a parent. Undoubtedly, I wouldn’t be the cool dad I’m sure I’d like to be. I’d probably (read: definitely) be the dorky dad who tries to make everyone laugh but ends up being the only one to laugh at his own joke. I’m trying to talk about a potential future, but right now it sounds like I’m talking about my current self. That said, I’m sure when it came to having “the talk,” I’d be as embarrassing if not more embarrassing than the parents in ‘Blockers’.
It’s prom night, the biggest night of a high schooler’s life (or so we are told), and best friends since they first stepped into school Julie (Kathryn Newton, 'Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri', 'Lady Bird') Kayla (Geraldine Viswanathan, 'EMO the Musical') and Sam (Gideon Adlon, TV's 'American Crime') are out to make sure it is a night to remember. This is where the virginity-losing sex pact comes into being. Unbeknownst to the girls, their parents Mitchell (John Cena, Trainwreck', 'Sisters') Lisa (Leslie Mann, 'How To Be Single', 'Knocked Up', 'The 40-Year-Old Virgin') and Hunter (Ike Barinholtz, 'Bad Neighbours', 'The Disaster Artist') discover their sex pact and set out to be the best overbearing protective parents they can be, and stop this from happening at all costs! Their children growing up is a concept they certainly can not handle.
There is something to be said about the type of film where almost the entire plot is given to you in the trailer. There is something to be said for films where this happens, and yet, through some magical writing acting and directing, you are taken on a ride you never thought possible. This is such a solid comedy, coming from people who are now absolute comedy veterans that if you don’t leave the cinema having laughed out loud, cringed and even let out a little “awwww”, you must be some sort of robot.
These films get made for a reason. Mostly that reason is for some light entertainment. But there is something that sets ‘Blockers’ apart from its counterparts in the shock and sometimes gross-out comedy sector. This is a film with real heart. There are some really touching moments throughout, counterbalancing the comedy (that will definitely make you cringe at some point) perfectly. It's also really nice to see a film about parenting with two male leads. The characters are deeper than you would expect for a film of this calibre too, each with their own reasons for wanting to preserve their children’s innocence as long as they can.
'Blockers' has a heart as big as John Cena’s hands.
It must be mentioned that Kathryn, Geraldine and Gideon (the actors playing the teenage daughters) are equally as strong as their adult counterparts. They are funny and kind and, much like their parents, show a depth of character well beyond that of a cliché American teen. There is a wonderful diversity not only to their characters but their casting that gives ‘Blockers’ its unwavering authenticity, and only adds to the climactic impact the film leaves.
The adult cast are just as wonderful, and I don’t know how but John Cena just gets better and better in everything we see him in. His comic timing is perfect and his commitment to his roles is delightfully unexpected. Let's be honest: there is nothing nicer than watching a giant man constantly burst into tears, and Cena does this with deft perfection.
‘Blockers’ is a great night at the cinema, and is going to have you exceptionally well-entertained. It captures both the teenage and adult experience so successfully, and has a heart as big as John Cena’s hands.
(No really, they are huge - he hugs Leslie Mann at one point and his hand is as wide as her back.)