On a slow summer day, "Blockers" is worth the time
Blu-ray, DVD, Digital copy; 2018; R for rude and sexual content, and language throughout, drug content, teen partying, and some graphic nudity; streaming via
Amazon Video, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu, YouTube
Best extra: Commentary with director Kay Cannon, writer of the three “Pitch Perfect” franchise films
KAY CANNON gets kudos for trying to throw in some John Hughes-esque moments and scenery in her directorial debut film. She talks about them in "Blockers", her feature-length commentary.
Unfortunately, for those who cut their teenage teeth on Hughes’ coming-of-age films in the 1980’s, “Sixteen Candles,” “The Breakfast Club,” “Ferris Buehller’s Day Off,” “Pretty In Pink,” etc., “Blockers is a mediocre imitation of Hughes’ contribution to young adulthood. That’s not saying it doesn’t have its moments and Cannon deserves some props.
For today’s adults who can relate to those 1980s’ movies, with hormonal, practically omniscient teens of their own, this movie is poignant, though in a raunchy way. Three parents try to stop their trio of high-school daughters from losing their virginities on prom night. Prom, another rite of passage that many of the movie’s stars admit in another bonus feature, didn’t add up to romance and fireworks.
Each of the movie’s top-billed actors participates in the bonus features, including Leslie Mann, John Cena, Ike Barinholtz, Kathryn Newtown, Geraldine Viswanathan, Gideon Adlon, Graham Phillips and Miles Robbins. You also get to see producers Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg and James Weaver in chicken outfits promoting the film at some point along the PR highway. (Those who saw the trailer to this movie might remember a rooster preceding the word “blockers” in the title. If you don’t get it, talk to a teenager.)
The extras include three deleted scenes, a short gag reel, a line-o-rama montage with riffs longer than the gag reel and a look at the filming of some of the funnier scenes. These include a tipping car after a vomiting episode and a butt-chugging contest between Cena and some other teens (yes, butt chugging; apparently it’s real with YouTube videos to prove it).
Cena has a short bonus where he discusses what to include in a survival kit to save your kids on prom night, while Barinholtz does a brief history of sex from perverted cave drawings in Australia to the invention of the condom. I hope kids aren’t using these extras for legitimate information.
What is legit is Cannon’s commentary, although she goes silent a lot during the 102-minute flick. She talks about being a huge fan of Gary Cole (Bill Lumbergh in 1999’s “Office Space”) and Gina Gershon (1995’s “Showgirls”) who star as two parents who still deeply enjoy their sex-scapades, so much so that Cannon shows Cole with frontal nudity for the sake of a “Jurassic Park” laugh. Cannon also harkens to Hughes’ films being set in the Chicago suburbs, like “Blockers” is.
For the most part, it’s nice to see a movie that shows that girls can be in control of their own sexual destiny, their independence and their future. Thanks, Cannon, for that, and some of the raunchy laughs that come with a film about crossing the great divide from child to adult with balloons, poppers and a cheesy dance. This is worth a slow-summer watch.
― Toni Guagenti