Every year or two a comedy comes around that ends up making a fortune at the box-office and embedding itself in popular culture for a time. We've seen The Hangover, Superbad, Bridesmaids and, to a lesser extent, The Big Sick all garner strong reviews and make solid coin in cinemas. The latest film to hit critical and financial paydirt will likely be Blockers.
In a concept that could easily be dismissed if the film wasn't so good, John Cena, Leslie Mann and Ike Barinholtz are parents who intercept their daughter's texting group on prom night and find out they're planning on having sex. Certain they're making the biggest mistake of their lives, they set out to stop them.
Now, that sounds like a somewhat sloppy, American Pie-with-a-twist style plot that you've probably seen variations of before in other gross-out comedies playing for hard laughs; but Blockers is genuinely different. That's not to say someone doesn't stick a tube up John Cena's arse and pour beer into it (y'know... and the like), but rather how the younger characters are written and played. They're the sensible ones, and the film never for second talks down to them, or attempts to trivialize the magnitude of the decision the kids are making.
It also features the most progressive, deftly handled 'coming-out' subplot in recent cinematic memory - certainly for a flick that could easily be branded 'gross-out comedy' anyway.
Above all else, it's very funny. That's what will put bums on seats, ultimately, and debut helmer Kay Cannon does an outstanding job of letting the gags breath while still throwing enough at you to keep the laughs consistent. Barinholtz brings the funny hard, while Cena is hilariously game to play it razor straight. The younger cast members are also impressive with newcomer Geraldine Viswanathan showing genuine comic timing - expect to more of her in the future.