Blockers Blocks Itself From Being a Better Movie

After finding out her dad (John Cena) has been chasing her around the entire night to stop her from losing her virginity, Kayla (Geraldine Viswanathan) asks, “Why is sex even bad?”

John Cena, Leslie Mann, and Ike Barinholtz in Blockers

John Cena, Leslie Mann, and Ike Barinholtz in Blockers

This is where the film, Blockers, puts a spotlight on the idea that sex isn’t bad, but society has created a double standard when it comes to sex. When men lose their virginity, it’s an achievement. But, when women lose it, it’s a loss of innocence. The problem with this message is that we all know this, all too well. In fact, two characters lay it out before our adventure begins, yet the parents are too stubborn to listen.

Blockers is a raunchy comedy that revolves around three teenage girls who have made a pact to have sex on prom night. However, once their parents find out, these adults proceed to hunt them down to make sure their daughters keep their virginity and innocence.

First, there is Kathryn Newton’s character—Julie—who kicks the plot off by declaring, “I’m having sex!” She tells her girlfriends her plan to lose her virginity on prom night, to which they all agree to do the same.

Lisa is Julie’s mom played by Leslie Mann. The single-mother is going through a crisis because her only daughter is planning to leave Chicago behind to go to college in Los Angeles, the same school where her boyfriend is going.

So, when Lisa discovers “#sexpact2018,” she is determined to put this to a stop, and hopefully convince Julie that she still needs her mother (who will be in Chicago).

Then, there is Kayla. Kayla has no problem with the idea of sex and doesn’t care if it’s unique experience or not. She’s the raunchiest of the bunch, and her careless attitude makes her the favorite of the bunch.

But, Kayla’s dad, Mitchell, is not having it. While Cena is most commonly known as a WWE superstar, his the character of Kayla’s father call for him to be a sentimental dork, who wants to keep coaching his daughter in little league soccer. When he meets Connor (Miles Robbins), Kayla’s date, he immediately goes into defense mode. So, when he learns of the sex-pact, he will do anything to stop it—even butt-chug a beer.

Finally, there is Sam. Played by Gideon Adlon, Sam has the most exciting arch in the film. She’s made this pact to create an unbreakable bond with her best friends, but the problem is that she has a secret—she’s a lesbian.

Her father, Hunter (Ike Barinholtz), isn’t in the picture much since he and Sam’s mom divorced. But, to hopefully reconnect with his daughter, he vows to make her prom the best night of her life. That’s when he learns of the sex-pact. Surprisingly, the character who is portrayed as an idiot the entire movie is the only one that gets it. He doesn’t care that his daughter wants to have sex, his logic is that’s what kids do.

But, it’s the fact that she is going to lose it to a guy—that forces him to join Mitchell and Lisa. See, he knows that Sam is gay, though she hasn’t told him, and he hates the fact she would do something just because she isn’t comfortable being herself.

Blockers, while filled with funny moments, isn’t anything special. It resorts to the typical stereotypes of “raunchy comedies,” including but not limited to: vomit humor, a drug trip, a naked guy’s testicles, oh, and did I mention butt-chugging? Yikes!

It also makes really elementary jokes too. Cena is a big, muscular, tough-guy, but guess what he cries! The big tough-man cries gag happens not once, not twice, but three times. A movie that tries to be progressive enough to destroy the double standard that comes with sex seems to really stumble when using this cliché. I guess women can enjoy sex, but men can’t cry.

Again, another concern with the film is that multiple characters point out that girls having sex is not a big deal; it’s not something bad. Even Hunter, the “dumbest” of the three parents, gets it. We all do, except Lisa and Mitchell. So, why go on the journey if these two characters are the only ones thinking this way.

I understand that Kay Cannon was making a movie trying to spread the idea that sex should be approached differently in society and to empower female sexuality, but sometimes the decisions were lazy, and the message is already there in the first act. So, again, why bother?

Don’t get me wrong, there is a lot to like with Blockers, and I’d recommend it. It’s a good time; I’m harsh because it had such potential. The problem is that it could have been so much more. It’d be one thing if it were a bad movie, but it’s a mediocre movie, that could have been great.

A colleague and I agreed that Blockers would have been better if it revolved around the teenage girls, not their parents. Seeing Sam, Kayla, and Julie, go on their journey, owning their sexuality, and deciding whether or not to go through with the sex-pact would have been way more rewarding. But, then it would have added elements of drama, which would contradict the outrageous comedy goal, but it would have been a better movie.

Ironically, Blockers uses comedic troupes and a not-so-creative mentality that “blocks” an original, funny, and progressive film.

We also reviewed Isle of Dogs and A Quiet Place this week!

Watch our official video review of Blockers below:

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