There’s a father-daughter moment in Blockers when its two strongest players – John Cena and Geraldine Viswanathan – are having one of those classic claymore-covered conversations about sex, and if it really is all that bad? Cena’s titan-like stature shuffles and squirms trying to find a response and can’t conjure one to defend his argument that so many before him have failed to deliver in earlier raunchy teenage comedies. Of course sex isn’t bad. In fact, for the benefit of other entries to this genre it can be downright hilarious, but none have handled the topic so brilliantly as this latest addition.
Shaking tropes up a bit to brilliant effect, Blockers follows three highschool girl friends set to be making the leap to college and wanting to go out with a bang come prom night to celebrate. Unfortunately, their #SexPact2017 is discovered by their parents; marble-model-like Dad Mitchell (John Cena), single mum Lisa (Leslie Mann), and estranged but impressively attuned father Hunter (Ike Barinholtz) who take off into the night tailing this sex-crazed limousine to make sure that their daughters aren’t deflowered, until they say so.
Marking her directorial début, Kay Cannon redeems herself from previous writing effort of Pitch Perfect 3 and thankfully gives us two comedies for the price of one. For the younger generation of cast making up the film, it plays like a smarter and socially aware slice of American Pie, with ladies instead of the generic teenage lads on the hunt for a good time, making the predecessor almost ancient in its perception of high school teens.
This isn’t too serious, of course. Whilst the subject is handled well, it still makes time applying the occasional smutty or gross out giggle when necessary. The biggest laughs come from Viswanathan who is storming ahead of handling the humour and quickly becomes a talent that you want to see more of. An undeniably confident presence who works well with everyone around her, she’s one of the rare exceptions to the genre where we’re laughing with, instead of at her which makes it that bit more enjoyable. Definitely one to look out for.
On the other side of the road to Bonertown is of course the parents that are aiming to cancel the trip and all of them deliver. Mann and Barinholtz have plenty of experience as the out of touch elders trying to thwart youngsters plans and deliver what’s needed but Blockers really is Cena’s show. Another excelling talent from the wrestling world who’s made a brilliant transition, here he proves to be the most welcome presence. With an impressive comedic timing that even The Rock couldn’t roll in to, Cena also has great chemistry with his on-screen daughter, which makes things even more relatable. Now’s the time for him to branch out in other genre’s as he’s got this comedy gig nailed.