Here Comes the Boom, 2012.
Directed by Frank Coraci.
Starring Kevin James, Salma Hayek, Henry Winkler, Melissa Peterman, Reggie Lee, Greg Paul, Greg Germann, Gary Valentine, Bas Rutten and Charice.
A high school biology teacher enters the world of mixed martial arts in order to raise money for his cash-strapped school.
Since The King of Queens ended in 2007, Kevin James has had a pretty lucrative movie career. His movies have made a lot of money but the quality of them have been pretty poor. James is a pretty funny guy and I think with the right script he could put out a solid movie. With Here Comes the Boom, it looks like James is trying to approach a somewhat dramatic role, but how well does it work out for him?
Kevin James plays Scott Voss, a lazy teacher who works at a school that is having budget problems. Because of this, all extra curricular activities are going to be cut. One of the biggest activities facing cuts is the music department which will cause the music teacher, Marty (Henry Winkler), to lose his job. Marty just recently found out his wife is pregnant so losing his job would be even worse at this time in his life. Scott thinks Marty is a wonderful teacher and he's great with the kids in his class. After watching UFC one night at a friends house and learning the fighters can make up to $10,000 just for competiting, Scott sets out to be a MMA fighter to help Marty keep his job and save the extra curricular activities at the school.
Just from the trailer of Here Comes the Boom you can tell exactly how it will play out. It's cliched all the way through but like I say all that time, being cliched isn't necessarily a bad thing. As long as the actors involved do a good job, there are laughs to be had and if the story is heartwarming then it can be as cliched as it wants. Should it not have any of that is when being cliche is too painful to watch. Thankfully, the movie provides the former.
One problem I had with Here Comes the Boom is that, at times, it would just get a little too silly. For a movie that tries to be funny as well as having some dramatic elements to it, there are some scenes and jokes that are just too silly and don't fit in with the rest of the movie. Most of the silliness comes from Niko (Bas Rutten), who helps train Scott for his fights. The guy is a likable character but some of the things he does just take it too far and make him a hit and miss as far as jokes go.
The fight scenes in the movie aren't as good as they could be. With a movie about mixed martial arts you expect to see some really intense fight sequences like we saw in last year's Warrior. Most of the fights here end fairly quickly or come in the form of a montage so we don't get a feel for how intense the sport can be. Thankfully, the final fight has some of the best moments involving the fight sequences and makes for a pretty great bout to watch our protagonist participate in. My only other gripe with the fights would be that some of them aren't edited very well, which may be why most of them don't last long.
As far as performances go the cast here is quite solid. Kevin James is always a very likable guy in every role he plays and here is no different. He does a great job as Scott Voss and he plays off the other actors very well. Anytime Henry Winkler shows up in a movie I am always for it. Winkler is such a great guy and you just can't help but love him as the music teacher. Salma Hayek plays the school nurse and love interest for James' character and like the rest of the cast she does a good job. The chemistry between James and Hayek as well as James and Winkler is one of the strengths of the movie. Singer Charice and Kevin James' real life brother Gary Valentine all show up in the movie as well. Charice is essentially there only to sing a couple times in the movie, although she gives a pretty good performance, and Valentine shares a few laughs in his scenes with James.
All in all, Here Comes the Boom is a heartwarming movie that provides enough laughs and has good performances from its actors. It gets too slapstick at times and not every jokes works, but overall it ends up being a decent feelgood movie.
Flickering Myth Rating - Film: ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★ ★