Blu-ray Review: Blockers

Blockers tries to spice up the tried and true movie trope of teens trying to lose their virginity on prom night by adding the parents into the mix. Okay, that may have come out sounding creepier than intended. Blockers is about three best friends, Julie (Kathryn Newton), Kayla (Geraldine Viswanathan) and Sam (Gideon Adlon), who agree to a prom night sex pact after Julie tells Kayla and Sam that she’s going to lose her virginity that night to her boyfriend, Austin (Graham Phillips) – only unbeknownst to the them, Julie left her instant messenger open on her laptop and now their parents know about the pact and vow to stop it from happening.

What makes or breaks a comedy like this is the cast, as you have to just open yourself up to the part or else things will fall flat. Luckily, Blockers landed three very talented comedic actors in Leslie Mann, John Cena and Ike Barinholtz in the parental roles, and the three have great chemistry together, and with their onscreen daughters, which is just as important.

When I think of a classic virginity losing comedy, I immediately go to American Pie. That movie pulled no punches while also remaining realistic in terms of the movie itself…it felt like everything happening could actually happen to kids going to high school. Blockers embraces the realm of Hollywood and allows itself to be wackier with its comedy, not worried about whether what’s happening on screen is plausible or not. It doesn’t take it to the point where it’s ridiculous; it just allows itself to be a bit zanier for the sake of laughs – and it’s all the better for it.

Mann plays Lisa, Julie’s mother, who is having a hard time dealing with the fact that Julie may be going off to college in the coming months since it’s just been the two of them over the years. Cena plays Kayla’s dad, Mitchell, who is trying to come to terms with the fact that his hard-hitting, sports loving daughter is becoming a woman. And lastly, Barinhotlz plays Sam’s dad Hunter, who hasn’t really been around most of Sam’s life after a nasty divorce with Sam’s mom left him on the outs with not only her, but also his once friends Lisa and Mitchell.

Actually, while the bond between their daughters has only strengthened over time, the friendships between the three parents has become almost non-existent, so when the trio find out about the sex pact their daughters have agreed to, it isn’t all smooth sailing on either front. Another plus to the film is how viewers get to watch both sides of the story play out throughout the night from both the perspectives of the daughters and parents. It’s a juggling act that scriptwriters Brian and Jim Kehoe handle quite well, and while the daughters sex pact brings plenty of laughs, the true focus is on those trying to block them.

And what’s great about Blockers is the script adds some solid depth to the parental trio, while keeping the comedy front and center. Depth may be a strong word, but these characters aren’t one-dimensional comedic punching bags there to take the audience from one beat to the next. No, there’s heart to the story both when it comes to family, but also friendships. And it’s this heart that helps boost Blockers from being just another average crude comedy to add to the pile.

Now I didn’t say teen comedy for a reason, and that’s because while I’d wager they’d likely find it funny as well, Blockers is a “losing your virginity on prom night” comedy that’s targeted more towards adults. So, if you’re in the mood for a good laugh, silly antics and crude humour, I’d say that Blockers is one you should definitely check out.

The film looks and sounds great. A lot of the film takes place at night, yet the video transfer remains sharp, with colours popping nicely, and darks remaining solid and never washed out. The audio transfer is also top notch, with dialogue coming through cleanly alongside the soundtrack and sound mix.

Special Features:

Director’s Commentary – An always welcome commentary track for big fan’s of the film. Here we have Director Kay Cannon delivering the goods, talking about the story, the actors, production and the usual beats.

Gag Reel – At two and a half minutes in length, this gag reel brings some laughs that were had on set. While I’m not a fan of deleted scenes, I’ll always welcome a good gag reel to the party!

Deleted Scenes – Speaking of, here we have a few deleted scenes that didn’t make the cut that you can give a quick watch to if you so choose.

Line-O-Rama – The longest feature out of all is a feature filled with various takes of scenes with ad-libbing taking place. Definitely a fun watch, and always interesting to see what could’ve made it in or what may work best for some, as humour is so subjective.

Rescue Mission – At just over five minutes in length, this feature goes over the main characters of the film, as well as various scenes and stunts that took place over the course of the film.

Prom Night – At six and a half minutes long, this feature focuses on the sex pact, and whom the daughters were lined up to lose it with.

The History of Sex with Ike Barinholtz – This two minute featurette sees Barinholtz go over the world’s history of sex, for your viewing pleasure.

John Cena’s Prom Survival Kit for Parents – This two and a half minute featurette sees Cena go over a few items that every good blocker out there should have at their disposal!

Chug! Chug! Chug! – This three minute featurette focuses on John Cena’s scene stealing moment where a high school student challenges him to a butt-chugging competition.

Puke-A-Palooza –
This two minute piece talks about the film’s vomit scene inside the limo, and planning out how the messy moment would go down.

Universal Pictures Presents Blockers. Directed by: Kay Cannon. Written by: Brian Kehoe, Jim Kehoe. Starring: John Cena, Leslie Mann, Ike Barinholtz, Kathryn Newton, Geraldine Viswanathan, Gideon Adlon. Running time: 102 Minutes. Rating: 14A. Released on Blu-ray: July 3, 2018.

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