Dubbed the female version of Superbad, Blockers is the first ensemble comedy of the year that actually has some decent laughs through a new premise – female leads. Where many of these style of comedies typecast their female characters, this film thrusts three fairly average teenagers into the spotlight, throwing the main players John Cena, Lesie Mann and Ike Barinholtz further back in your mind. While it’s nowhere near a classic, some of the gags and refreshed humour aimed at 2018 teens will hit the mark well.
Three childhood friends are all grown up, and at their last, blowout prom they’re all looking to lose their virginity. The only thing that’s really getting in their way? Their parents. After stumbling upon an open MacBook with a full group chat open, the parents of the three girls begin a wild goose chase to find their daughters and shut down any chance they have of them doing the deed. Playing off the three girls and their three completely different parents is such an interesting watch, with the clash of personalities creating genuinely funny moments. John Cena, in particular, has some standout lines in a role that continues the push away from typecast ‘big guy’ roles. Don’t worry, they’re still there but much more nuanced and connected with the father role he plays. Mann and Barinholtz also add another drizzle of the stereotypical parents, but where the film truly shines is its leading threesome.
Kathryn Newton, Gideon Adion and Geraldine Viswanathan genuinely steal the show here, with brilliant comic timing and refreshingly down to earth. Their characters don’t feel forced or made up, instead they’re girls you’d come across in any friendship group in today’s society. The forward-thinking inclusion of a main character who’s coming to terms with her sexuality is also promising, and there’s never a joke made at her expense. The best scenes in the movie happen when these three are together, sewn up with some great supporting cast members and one-liners that will bring those laughs out of you. A bedroom scene near the climax of the film in particular made our audience howl.
The film isn’t perfect though – there’s some pacing issues, and definitely room for many more jokes. You can tell it was mostly scripted, where some contemporaries will have drifted many times to find the perfect lines for the scene. But even taking this into consideration, the film stands true as a strong delivery in a female-driven comedy. Throughout, men take a backseat and the girls have the chance to show they can, most definitely, be as funny as their male counterparts. Blockers is great at leading the way for many more female-led comedies from new talent, and here’s hoping to see Newton, Adion and Viswanathan in many more projects soon.
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