Film Review: "Blockers" is all noise and no substance
There are some films that aim to make a difference, films that aspire to make you stop and think and there are films that are much more than just motion pictures. Blockers, does not fall into any of these categories. Sadly, the film doesn't even fit into the "so bad they're good" guilty pleasure category, it is a whole other category of it's own: the over ambitious film that should have just stayed your average run of the mill comedy. By trying too hard, director Kay Cannon has created a disappointing motion picture that is not the film female characters exploring their sexuality in cinema deserve.
Starring former WWE star turned goofy actor John Cena, the always wonderful Leslie Mann and The Mindy Project’s Ike Barinholtz, Blockers chronicles three parents setting out to stop their three daughters from losing their virginities on prom night. Obviously, everything goes wrong in an hilarious sequence of events that ultimately lead the three parents to realise they should have just trusted their children in the first place *cue embarrassing John Cena crying*.
Now, this is not a film to go see with your straight laced friend or your subdued mum, but rather with company who gets a kick out of the type of “stupid funny” gags that exploit things like toilet humour, old-man-balls-touching and vomit. Depending on your sense of humour, you may love this film. Surprisingly, the two “auteurs” if you like, of smart, well written comedy, Seth Rogan and Evan Goldberg, are credited as producers of Blockers, a fact that doesn’t quite make sense as the film is sadly neither smart nor well-written.
The directorial debut of Kay Cannon (writer of the Pitch Perfect movies and many 30 Rock episodes), Blockers aims to provide something different by featuring three female leads. The intended purpose is to break the stigma around young women losing their virginity and fighting through the ‘damsel in distress” stereotype that portray women as weak characters that need saving, With the virginity movie genre featuring classics such as American pie, Superbad and Porky’s, it’s a safe call to say male leads are a strong theme.
Unfortunately, Blockers reverses this important message of female sexuality by focusing on the weak and slightly misogynistic male roles that highlight the problematic nature that is Cannon’s vision. Instead of embracing the lesbian character, she is subject to hiding her sexuality, with her dad telling his friends before she even tells her own. Leslie Mann’s character is constantly subject to emotional spouts that are caused because she is saddened being single and alone. John Cena’s wife, played by Sarayu Blue (The Big Bang Theory), is portrayed as bossy and hostile, rather than a successful businesswoman who also juggles two children.
Cannon has sadly focused too much on creating a funny film that benefits from gags such as John Cena having beer fed through where it shouldn’t, rather than one with an important message. With Cannon's Pitch Perfect movies, the films all feature themes such as friendships and hard work, that cohesively work with her extremely funny and strong female cast. Ultimately, she should have stuck to this winning formula for blockers. Unfortunately, Blockers is a silly, over-ambitious film that truly should have just stuck to crude humour and subjecting its actors to embarrass themselves, because that is when the film actually works.