Here Comes the Boom (2012) Film Review, a movie directed by Frank Coraci and starring Kevin James, Salma Hayek, Henry Winkler, Greg Germann, Joe Rogan, Gary Valentine, Charice, Bas Rutten, Reggie Lee, Jackie Flynn, Nikki Tyler-Flynn, Melissa Peterman, and Thomas C. Gallagher.
Here Comes the Boom is more or less an Adam Sandler movie starring Kevin James. We have the goofy yet affable lead who learns maturity and self-fulfillment through (literally) incredible heroism, in this case it is fighting mixed martial arts. Personally, I like Adam Sandler movies. Happy Gilmore is in my top five favorite films. While James’s effort is not even close to being as funny as Sandler’s signature works, it is just as enjoyable, and somehow the weird combination of Disney heart and graphic violence land like a successful right hook.
The premise is simple. Due to a budget deficit, the music program at the high school where Scott Voss (James) teaches biology is being cut. He is enamored by the music and feels equally compelled to help save it because the music teacher Marty Streb (Henry Winkler) is going to have a baby and cannot afford to lose his job. James (again through somewhat unlikely circumstances) ends up finding out that he can make money fighting mixed martial arts, even if he loses the matches he fights in. I have no idea if this is true, but does it really matter? If you were coming to a movie named after a P.O.D. song from 2002 starring a guy who’s resume includes The Zookeeper looking for a documentary, maybe it’s time to take a long hard look in the mirror.
With that being said, Kevin James is close to his best here. Channeling the good-natured geniality that helped him succeed in Hitch, he plays the underdog without being over-the-top about his situation. After rewatching some episodes of Arrested Development, I have a newfound appreciation for Henry Winkler, and he does a good job of playing a person in need of help without coming off as too pathetic. James and Winkler both have comedic chops and one of my gripes with the film is that they really aren’t used too often. Of course with Kevin James there is the obligatory physical comedy and pratfalls but he and Winkler seem to be playing it safe. Selma Hayek plays her part well but her role is a serious afterthought. The producer wanted a love story and had it written at the end, no question.
I don’t want to use the word formulaic, because although the movie is a bit predictable, I never got that feeling. It isn’t going to go down in history as a great sports film, especially when up against the similarly themed Warrior – which I highly recommend, but it wasn’t a waste of my time either. If you like Kevin James, MMA, or P.O.D. (they play that stupid song like 100 times), check out Here Comes the Boom.
FilmBook Rating: 7/10