Review: Blockers

A femme-positive, sex-positive, diversity-positive romp that puts both the parents and the kids through their own coming of age tales. Blockers sports a genuine, sweet natured heart, whilst being consistently funny with moments of outright hilarity. Go get BLOCKED!

I found myself cheering for this by the time it moved into the 3rd act as the trailer really does mislead what and where the film goes. Why was I cheering? Well, this is a studio picture that’s central premise let’s three teenage girls dictate their own sexual destinies without the adjudication or judgement from men. That it sends their overbearing parents into a tail spin and misadventure of their own, being the film’s central conceit, actually allows Blockers to touch on some very meaty topics such as gender equality, female representation, diversity, homosexuality, and, indeed, sexuality with a fearlessness that impresses.

Let not my political opening rant stop you, the film is hysterically funny.

It’s Prom Night Eve and three besties Julie (Kathryn Newton), Kayla (Geraldine Viswanathan), and Sam (Gideon Adlon) make a pact to offload their virginity on the night in question. Yes, they’ve made a sex pact.

Unbeknownst to Julie, her overbearing mother Lisa (Leslie Mann) has intercepted to the pact via an unlocked laptop in her room. Enlisting Kayla’s father Mitchell (John Cena) and Sam’s father Hunter (Ike Barinholtz), they set about sabotaging their children’s night to stop the planned trysts from occurring.

First time director Kay Cannon, whose background in producing and writing content such as 30 Rock, Pitch Perfect, How To Be Single, comes out of the gate well armed to handle a bawdy comedy like this. Whilst the opening 5 minutes is a bit jolting as it moves to the thrust of the film is super quick fashion, Cannon’s reliance on letting her bevvy of fine comedic actors work a script of such rapid fire laugh lines pays off in spades. Written by Brian and Jim Kehoe, with added improvisations to ramp up the laughs, Cannon handles the dual learning curves for both sets of protagonists ably.

Performances across the board are honed and on game, with particular kudos to Ike Barinholtz (who almost steals the movie), Leslie Mann (whose comic timing is razor sharp – she is so funny here) and both Gideon Adlon & Geraldine Viswanathan whose teenage vixens are equally hilarious and well drawn. A scene stealing turn from Sarayu Blue, who provides the film’s strongest political commentary, is a welcome surprise.

Blockers is an absolute hoot of a film and shows a Hollywood studio machine can start to move its goalposts in terms of representation of women and people of different ethnicities without sacrificing the enjoyment along the way. Its positive attitude towards sex and equality win major points, as does the fact that the film is so consistently funny from the get go and maintains it to the close.

You’re gonna have a hella good time here. Go see it!

★★★★

BLOCKERS releases on 29 MARCH, 2018 in AUSTRALIA through UNIVERSAL PICTURES and is on SNEAK PREVIEWS NOW!