I had to second take when I saw the premise for Blockers, the Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg produced and Kay Cannon directed comedy that involved three parents stopping their daughters from enjoying themselves a little too much on their prom night. Cleverly hiding the first part of the title with a drawing of a chicken on posters, I immediately got the sense that this was going to be a pretty wild ride. What I ended up getting is a much sweeter narrative with a cast of mostly likeable characters, interspersed with John Cena butt chugging.
Leslie Mann, Ike Barinholtz, and John Cena all play unlikely friends who met through their daughters, all of whom are going through their own problems as their kids are on the cusp of adulthood (empty nest syndrome, fear of abandonment, overprotectiveness). Once they get wind of an alleged “sex pact” by way of text message snooping, it’s on. Or something.
The girls are paired up, sent off in a limo, and the parents pursue. By way of an elaborate cat and mouse game, they’re catapulted into various shenanigans, most of which we’ve seen before, even if the cast’s chemistry sells it. My main beef with Blockers is that most of the teen scenes merely consist of boilerplate comedy and antics that the film’s own producers have already treaded on. It doesn’t seem intentional as there’s some attempt a new twists to the same old “lake house and hotel party” conventions, but ultimately the onus is on the trio of adults to deliver. Barring a very wholesome conclusion a lot of Blockers can feel like biding time (especially with the overdone adults translating emojis bit) until it gets to the good stuff (including a very funny turn from Gary Cole and Gina Gershon).
Blockers is strangely one of the sweetest raunchy comedies in years, which is the last thing I expected after watching the mostly over-the-top trailers. It just doesn’t manage to strike a clean balance of what it truly wants to be.
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