HOLLYWOOD—We have seen a bevy of films in recent years where adults have gone to the extreme in the world of comedy to deliver laughs to the audience. We’ve had “Bridesmaids,” “Neighbors,” “Girls Trip,” “Sisters” and now you can add the comedy “Blockers” to the list. Well, the title “Blockers” is not the real title for the film, and I’m not at liberty to really disclose it, but if you look close at that chicken symbol you should be able to decipher the rest.
With this latest outing, we see a group of teenage girls (for some reason we’ve seen a lot of comedy lately aimed at female empowerment) making a pact to lose their virginity during prom night. Now, the idea is something that is relatable for most people, because prom is a time where most teens (unfortunately) lose their virginity. However, the shenanigans come into play when the parents of these teens, Lisa (Leslie Mann), Hunter (Ike Barinholtz) and Mitchell (John Cena) discover what their daughters are up to.
Here is the frustration with “Blockers:” the film at times attempts to push the boundaries too far in an effort to generate laughs. There is a hilarious, but gross-out scene at a party involving Cena’s character and beer that will leave you laughing, but at the same time cringing. I am no comedy writer, but I know from people who do comedy the best approach is a natural approach.
At times a bevy of the laughs in this flick come across as forced. When I say that, it’s not likely it’s overly pushed, but as a viewer you don’t get the impression that this antic of a scene was a natural progression for the narrative. It feels as if the writers pinpointed how many gross-outs or over the top shticks can we put into the movie and then find a way to mold into the narrative so that it works. Our parents play typical troupes of what is depicted in everyday parenting: the absent parent, the helicopter parent and then the strict, single parent.
Just because everyone talks about behaving or parenting a specific way, does not mean if you present it on the big screen it will automatically click with the audience. This is not to say that “Blockers” does not deliver laughs because the film does, but it’s not to the point where the belly is aching or you’re in awe because you just watched something so original, so unique that you have never seen it before. Instead of the film focusing solely on how far the parents could go to prevent their daughters from making what they consider a mistake, how about we focus a bit more on the teenagers themselves and put them in some compromising situations. “Blockers” does that a little, but it’s apparent the focus is on the parents not the kids.
Barinholtz, a pure comedian brings the laughs that seem as real as they can come. Mann has been funnier in other flicks I’ve seen from the actress, and it’s apparent that Cena is looking to prove he is willing to do almost anything to get a laugh. However, he falls into a similar issue as actor Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson; he isn’t 100 percent funny, at least not with a sidekick or another scene partner by his side. Can he be funny solo? Not in my opinion, but with the right comedian or comedienne by his side he can be.
“Blockers” is funny, but not funny enough to where you have to rush to the theater to see it right away. It’s a flick that works if you just want something to take your mind off everyday life. Simply put it’s a movie that if you want to watch something to past the time, it will accomplish its task.