“BLOCKERS” A THROWBACK TO CRUDE HUMOR; “BILLIONS” ON TV
A Film and TV Review by Tim Riley
BLOCKERS (RATED R) The comedy “Blockers” has the simple premise of three anxious parents wanting to stop their daughters from losing their virginity on prom night. In ads, the film’s title is preceded by the image of a rooster. The connection is easy to figure. A throwback to the “American Pie” franchise and the overall teen comedy vibe of films from the 80’s and 90’s, “Blockers” has plenty of raunchy humor that one would expect when the act of sexual congress is foremost on the minds of high school seniors.
Julie (Kathryn Newton), wanting to escape the smothering of her single helicopter mom Lisa (Leslie Mann), tells her two best friends of her desire to have sex for the first time on prom night with her boyfriend. The friends, Kayla (Geraldine Viswanathan) and Sam (Gideon Adlon), get with the program and set their sights on classmates, but Sam is stuck with a nerdy kid though her desire is to hook up with a secret crush.
The parents get wind of a sex pact for the big night when Lisa happens to make an inadvertent discovery on Julie’s laptop. The invasion of privacy does not deter Kayla’s dad Mitchell (John Cena) and Sam’s estranged father Hunter (Ike Barinholtz) from an all-night mission.
Playing against type, John Cena, the tough WWE wrestler, is all weepy and overprotective of Kayla, and not averse to subjecting himself to some humiliating scenes of how far he will go, including the uncomfortable scene of butt-chugging. Hunter, as the absentee, divorced father in Sam’s life, is initially the local pariah for having cheated on his former wife and being perceived as the deadbeat dad, but he’s sometimes the voice of reason in an oddly funny way with his sharp one-liners.
With the kids off to the prom, it doesn’t take long for the trio of parents to decide to awkwardly show up at the dance, and then chase them to a party scene at a lakeside residence before ending up in a chaotic scene at a high-rise hotel. “Blockers” allows the parents and the kids to shine in comedic roles, with John Cena’s Mitchell stealing many of the scenes as the strait-laced dad not willing to let go. Like any teen sex comedy, “Blockers” has plenty of crude humor that comes with the territory.