In Here Comes the Boom, Kevin James takes on an all-too-familiar role, once again capitalizing on his fame as a fat funnyman. This new comedy succeeds at being heartwarming and entertaining, but not much else.
The film starts out by introducing our hero, Scott Voss (James), as a former high school wrestler who settled into a career as a high school Biology teacher. It’s clear he was once a highly motivated, recognized, and celebrated teacher, based on the awards he received, and the way he talks about the old days.
As the story unfolds, we find out the music teacher, Marty Streb (played by Henry Winkler), is in danger of losing his job. There are financial cutbacks at the school, and of course the music department is the first to go.
In an effort to gather the funds needed to save his mentor, Voss decides to get into UFC-style cage fighting, because even the losers get paid ten grand! The story continues in a very predictable and formulaic fashion. From the sexy and supportive single nurse (played by Salma Hayek), to the hard-assed principle (Greg Germann), the movie is filled with archetypal roles played by recognizable actors.
Here Comes the Boom is done well enough to get a good laugh out of you, and it has a few heartwarming moments, but don’t expect anything special. The cinematography is done well. The dialog (co-written by Kevin James) is clever enough to generate a few chuckles, but it won’t inspire awe.
The threat of music and art programs being cut from a school’s curriculum over budget concerns is a familiar issue across the country. This movie comes at a good time, benefiting from the debate currently happening in so many places.
I would watch anything with Henry Winkler in it, as I have a love-affair-from-afar with that man, and he definitely adds to the ensemble. However, the film smacks of UFC product placement. I suspect many of you will reach the same conclusion I did: that the UFC was clearly bankrolling this in some fashion. Even Joe Rogan makes a noteworthy appearance.
The film is not without its positive aspects. I was impressed at how well the humor and drama blended together. All the right things in all the right places. Here Comes the Boom is a good movie for a few chuckles, and for briefly melting a some of the ice surrounding your bitter, frozen heart.
3 out of 5 stars
Edited by: Jeff Boehm