Film Review: Kevin James Displays Heart in ‘Here Comes the Boom’

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CHICAGO – Seeing the words “Happy Madison Production” on any film means a broad, unfunny and formulaic comedy is about to emerge – usually with company founder Adam Sandler. Although “Here Comes the Boom” has some of those dulling elements, it’s Kevin James who is sincere and motivated as a cage match fighter.

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.5/5.0
Rating: 3.5/5.0

The set-up to the premise – James is a teacher at a school that is cutting it’s music program and popular music teacher, so naturally James fights in mixed martial arts cage matches to earn money to save the day – is straight out of the Happy Madison playbook. What separates it from Sandler-land is the everyman charm of Kevin James, and the odd collection of characters that help his achieve his Ultimate Fighting Championship dream. With shades of “Rocky” and a unique approach to filming the fight sequences, “Here Comes the Boom” is not bad.

Scott Voss (James) was once a teacher-of-the-year candidate at his high school, but is currently severely burned out. He finds solace by flirting with the school nurse Bella (Salma Hayek) and listening to the music class of Marty Streb (Henry Winkler). When the school principal announces massive budget cuts, the music department is the victim. The school needs 50 grand to keep the program viable, and it is Scott that comes up with the money-raising plan.

He was a ex-college wrestler at a division one school, so naturally he thinks he can adapt to the popular mixed martial arts (MMA) cage matches. He recruits a motley crew that includes an ex-MMA fighter named Niko (Bas Rutten), the music teacher Marty and a punch expert (Mark DellaGrotte playing himself). Starting with the lower end matches of that style of fighting, the 42 year old biology teacher reaches the top in a Ultimate Fighting Championship match in Las Vegas. That’s quite an evolution in saving-the-day.

“Here Comes the Boom” opened everywhere on October 12th. Featuring Kevin James, Salma Hayek, Henry Winkler, Bas Rutten, Mark DellaGrotte and Joe Rogan. Screenplay Rock Reuben, Allan Loeb and Kevin James. Directed by Frank Coraci. Rated “PG

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Here Comes the Boom”

Kevin James, Henry Winkler
Ayyy!: Scott (Kevin James) Gives Marty (Henry Winkler) a Lift in ‘Here Comes the Boom’
Photo credit: Sony Pictures

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Here Comes the Boom”

djshystr's picture

Funny

I took my 10yr old son with me to watch this movie. This movie brought out his laughter, which I haven’t heard in a while. I am glad that they made an excellent humorous PG movie. A must see movie with the family.

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