Blockers

 

star

 


Three parents attempt to block their daughters' chances of having sex in Kay Cannon's over-the-top gross-out farce.

 
Blockers

John Cena (left) humiliates himself

 

Silliness is a bit like wasabi. A little bit can perk up your sashimi, but too much can deaden your appetite. Kay Cannon’s Blockers is pretty much full-on silliness for its entire running time, it being a gross-out farce about a trio of parents from hell. As prom night approaches, Julie’s mom and Kayla and Sam's respective dads are beginning to get the jitters. Actually, Sam’s father, Hunter (Ike Barinholtz), is fine with his daughter’s prospective sexual liberation – he just hangs out with Lisa (Leslie Mann) and Mitchell (John Cena) because he doesn’t have any friends. Julie has decided that the prom is the perfect occasion to conclude her virginity and is united with her two best friends in a secret sex pact. In spite of his disapproval of Lisa and Mitchell’s electronic eavesdropping, Hunter cracks their daughters’ emoji coding on their WhatsApp chat group (he knows an eggplant is the symbol for a penis) and so the trio set off to spoil the fun.

 

Kay Cannon, who scripted the Pitch Perfect trilogy, makes her directorial debut here and encourages her actors to mug outrageously. Every line of dialogue seems to be punctuated with a WTF! emphasis and the running joke of each parent revealing too much about a past transgression gets very tiresome very fast. John Cena plays against his he-man image as the crybaby of the group, while Leslie Mann (wife of Judd Apatow in real life) has the best scene in which she finds herself in a compromising situation, which should make every parent squirm. Of course, real people don’t behave like this, which gives us the uneasy sensation of witnessing a neighbourhood freak show. The rampant nudity is rather pointless (let’s hope the middle-aged co-stars Gary Cole and Gina Gershon were well paid), while the scene of John Cena’s ‘butt-chugging’ will no doubt haunt the actor for the rest of his life. At least the performances of the younger cast members pass muster, although it’s unlikely we’ll see any of them again.

 

JAMES CAMERON-WILSON

 

Cast: Leslie Mann, Ike Barinholtz, John Cena, Kathryn Newton, Geraldine Viswanathan, Gideon Adlon, Graham Phillips, Miles Robbins, Jimmy Bellinger, June Diane Raphael, Gary Cole, Gina Gershon.

 

Dir Kay Cannon, Pro Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, James Weaver, Jon Hurwitz, Hayden Schlossberg and Chris Fenton, Screenplay Brian Kehoe and Jim Kehoe, Ph Russ T. Alsobrook, Pro Des Brandon Tonner-Connolly, Ed Stacey Schroeder, Music Tracy Bonham, Costumes Sarah Mae Burton.

 

Universal Pictures/Good Universe/DMG Entertainment/Hurwitz & Schlossberg Productions/Point Grey Pictures-Universal Pictures.

101 mins. USA. 2018. Rel: 30 March 2018. Cert. 15.