Review Roundup: Critics Weigh In On BLOCKERS
When three parents stumble upon their daughters' pact to lose their virginity at prom, they launch a covert one-night operation to stop the teens from sealing the deal. Leslie Mann (The Other Woman, This Is 40), Ike Barinholtz (Neighbors, Suicide Squad) and John Cena (Trainwreck, Sisters) star in Blockers, the directorial debut of Kay Cannon (writer of the Pitch Perfect series).
The comedy is produced by Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg and James Weaver, under their Point Grey Pictures banner (Neighbors, This Is the End), alongside Jon Hurwitz & Hayden Schlossberg (Harold & Kumar series) and DMG Entertainment's Chris Fenton (47 Ronin). Good Universe's Nathan Kahane and Joseph Drake (Don't Breathe, Juno) executive produce with Chris Cowles (Collide) of DMG and Josh Fagen, Dave Stassen and Jonathan McCoy. The film is written by brothers Brian & Jim Kehoe, Hurwitz & Schlossberg and Eben Russell.
The film hits theaters tomorrow, so check out what the critics are saying here:
Peter Travers, Rolling Stone: "Don't get me wrong - the movie lays on the raunch, and there are more gut-busting laughs than you can count. But no one gets OBJECTIFIED or patronized. Julie has genuine feelings for boyfriend Austin (Graham Phillips). And Kayla is never the victim of her prom date Connor (Miles Robbins, son of Tim), a charmer in a man-bun known as "the chef" for cooking up drugs that he never uses to take advantage. As for shy Sam, she isn't at all conflicted about her geeky date Chad (Jimmy Bellinger) since her only worry is how to come out to Julie and Kayla and come on to Angelica (Ramona Young), her sapphic crush."
Gary Thompson, Philly Inquirer: "The what's-the-big-deal approach is disarming and effective. Blockers probably pushes its luck by its adding alcohol and drug abuse to its cocktail of teen sex, but the movie is sneaky safe - the young women are with boys who love and respect (and sometimes fear) them. Mostly what lurks around the edge of the action isn't danger, but affection.Also, the movie presents the girls' behavior as a forum for debate, as two moms (Mann and Sarayu Blue) square off in a heated discussion about feminism and the culture's view of sexually assertive women."
Anne Cohen, Refinery 29: "The real key to Blockers is the way in which the film takes the time to zoom in on the motivations of each of its distinct characters, rather than mashing them all together in a protective parents vs. promiscuous teens divide. Take our three best friends: The more girly-girl of the trio, Julie (Kathryn Newton), has been dating her boyfriend Austin (Graham Phillips) for six whole months (practically a lifetime in high school). They've passed the "I love you stage," and are ready to consummate. And while her candy and rose petals fantasy of losing virginity might seem old school, don't be fooled - she knows what she wants, and how she wants it. Soccer star Kayla (Geraldine Viswanthan), on the other hand, is more pragmatic than romantic: she just wants to get the virginity thing over and done with so she can move on, and informs her lab partner that he's the lucky chosen one. And perhaps most compelling of all is Sam (Gideon Adlon), who buys into the pact as a way to remain connected to her best friends with college separation looming, even as she struggles to tell them that she's actually into girls. (In a Gen-Z twist that also showed up in this year's Love, Simon, it's not so much that she's worried about their judgment than she is about the status quo changing.)"
Katie Walsh, St. Louis Today: "It takes a while to rev up, but "Blockers" is often laugh-out-loud funny, thanks to the cast - you just wish they all had a little more to work with. The sweet oddball Mann plays the overly attached mom with a penchant for strangely detailed stories, and WWE star Cena fully steps into his own as a comedic actor here - and steals the show. He's shown his faculty for comedy in "Trainwreck" and "Sisters," and he has a gift for delivery and timing. As the straight-laced superdad, he's often the butt of the joke. He leans into this dorky persona, as the hulking jock with hands the size of hubcaps who's just a naive and earnest teddy bear. Barinholtz rounds out the trio as a DEADBEAT dad trying to do right."
Molly Freeman, Screenrant: "With a script by Black List writers Brian and Jim Kehoe, Blockers is the directorial debut of Kay Cannon, who has plenty of experience working on female-driven comedies. Cannon has producing and writing credits on TV series 30 Rock, New Girl and Girlboss, as well as the Pitch Perfect movie franchise. Between the script and directing on Blockers, the movie offers something for every sense of humor, from raunchy comedy that includes Cena butt chugging 40 oz of beer to quotable one-liners. Conversely, that range of comedy means there will undoubtedly be something in Blockers that misses for each viewer, but the movie is quick to move on. Blockers also largely manages to balance its comedy with the more emotional moments of the story, though some dramatic scenes are unfortunately undercut by unnecessary jokes - as if the script sometimes shies away from going too deep."
Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune: "A little of Barinholtz goes a pretty good distance for me, but sharing scenes with Mann (who has the timing of a wizard) and blocklike Cena (funny just standing there, with his "cop haircut" and perpetually aghast reactions), he's what the movie needs: a relaxed wildcard. The girls' friendship, however, is what makes "Blockers" more than an elevator pitch. One trio gets 'em in the door; the other trio keeps 'em there."