17 April 2018 | kaptenvideo-89875
Teenagers want to have sex, and their parents prevent them to do so. Story as old as humanity, but worth seeing.
As a movie fan, I don't care for "genre movies" - meaning, in general, any project done just because authors imagine this kind of thing being hot right now.
As a rule, such efforts lack depth because they rely on cliches but rarely concentrate on fleshing out the world and characters which are the basic building blocks of decent storytelling.
As a result, I don't usually watch musicals, superhero stories, or computer animations... but I still like raunchy comedies. Not that I have high hopes for them, it's just a guilty pleasure.
"Blockers" falls into the latter category so if this kind of thing is not your cup of tea, you can stop reading now. Watching this wouldn't change your mind about sex, genitalia, bodily fluid, or partying related jokes.
Having said that, "Blockers" feels like one of the best raunchy mainstream comedies around. Definitely one of my favorites since the current wave was kickstarted by Judd Apatow's "The 40-Year-Old Virgin" in 2005.
I mentioned the legendary comedy screenwriter-director-producer on purpose. Here we have one of the more successful attempts to use Apatow's particular blend of entertainment to a great effect.
You know - dirty jokes but also a lot of heart, laid-back stories about everyday people, improvisational but strong dialogue, enough room to let everyone's personal charm shine through.
Apatow's formula has been around for a while now - finding a thankful audience with the short-lived cult series "Freaks and Geeks", gaining worldwide attention with "Virgin". But there's only few comedies that have managed to use it to such a good effect as "Blockers".
It's even cooler that the successful imitators are not comedy pros or Apatow veterans but (judging by their IMDb's resumes) relatively inexperienced screenwriting brothers Brian and Jim Kehoe. Plus the director is a woman, called Kay Connon.
I don't consider myself biased but women's efforts to helm modern raunchy comedies don't seem too encouraging, as witnessed in "Rough Night" and "Bad Moms 2", two recent examples that just suck.
Connon, on the other hand, has experience with the genre, having co-written the whole of "Pitch Perfect" trilogy. And her achievement as a first time director is denifinitely a noteworthy one. "Blockers" is just chock full of committed and charming performances. This is always a sign of good director because memorable performances rarely just happen, even in the best of times.
I am not mainly talking about the three leads (Leslie Mann, Ike Barinholtz, John Cena) as parents on a mission to cockblock their youngsters' prom night sexcapades. The overall coolness of the big cast is something to savour, including Miles Robbins who feels like a second coming of Russell Brand in "Forgetting Sarah Marshall".
The compatibility and impeccable comic timing of every major player is just great. Special shout out should go to John Cena - who knew that WWE star could be such an asset in comedy, and not in supporting role as used to, but as one of the leads.
Traditionally, the "Apatow formula's" weakness has been lack of strikingly interesting story which often brings an overreliance on mediocre dialogue.
"Blockers's" story is not that interesting either - and some section could be shorter, such as teenagers in hotel - but the result works even when it gets corny, offering enough energy and inspired mayhem to be worth of genre fan's time.
All in all, "Blockers" kind of reminds me of "Step Brothers", one of my modern comedy favourites from 2008. The story is not the strong point and suffers from staying "middle of the road", lacking the one great punch which would raise it to the leagues of insta-classics. But the result is greater than sum of its parts, and the charm of the cast puts it a league of its own.
There's one thing that I'm a bit sad about though. The trailers make it seem like a mindless mainstream offering although the movie is slower and a bit more thoughtful than usual.
If possible, please watch "Blockers" itself first and trailers later, otherwise you may feel that you have seen all the stand-out bits already, which may make you miss out on how nice the movie feels as a whole.