Blockers Review

Prom. What a wonderful time. Splashing your cash on a fancy suit, only to realise you’re going to spend four hours poking at questionable quality food, pretending you enjoy dancing, and nipping outside to pour hip flask whisky into a flat lemonade. What a life. What a time. America has romanticised the need for prom, and also the need for friends. Blockers’ need to romanticise the spirit of friendships and the magic, middle-class lifestyle is a tortured, laborious notation, but one that isn’t going away any time soon. Embrace it. Get comfy. Enjoy the ride. Kay Cannon and her cast certainly have, but they do nothing with it. 

Their comfort can be mistaken for competency at times. Cannon’s comedy is on the symmetry (or lack thereof) between daughter and doting parent. They are two peas in a pod regardless of their similarities and differences, and the three layers of parent are touched upon typically and with little interest. One overbearing, one borderline alcoholic, and the third is a muscle-bound freak, John Cena. Everything falls into place rather typically, and the comedy that underlines it is cringe-inducing but does not mean to be so. With Cena, though, there is a tremendous quality. He is unable to speak without forced innuendo. It is really rather marvellous, but more because of what we know of Cena as a wrestler, rather than an actor.  

Near misses with suburban cars and coddled lifestyles in coffee shops and casual trips out shopping. Blockers is at least honest with what its characters represent, and Cannon’s direction is energetic and out to impress. That it does, and at times Blockers does inspire some confidence in these characters. Hannibal Buress and Cena in particular, but the leading up and comers are dependable and at least interesting. They have good chemistry with one another, but the backstories and comedic intentions are absent, or, at least, not very good. They lack a biting punchline, something that could be considered at all necessary for the moving tides of a comedy feature. Cena is the comic relief, unsettling and remarkable at the same time. He is one of the few bright sparks to feature here, yet at the same time, the role of him in Blockers is to stop this trio of characters from hitting their prom goals. 

What is the point of their prom goals? There is a relatively loose styling to it, and it falls apart as a rather typical American focus. Sex is at the core of these characters, and it would be empowering for Cannon’s cast if it weren’t such an oversaturated desire for the young adults that plague these features. It would help also if some of the supporting characters weren’t so disconnected. They are untreatable. Aspects of the real world are thrown under the wheels of a limo, with a man holding flares hanging out the top of it. Blockers is just that. Its visual representation is a person holding flares, making a show of themselves, but having nothing to say after such a large song and dance.  

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