Kevin James as a high school biology teacher turned MMA fighter? Puh-lease. An obnoxiously stupid title? Please, no. And yet Here Comes the Boom brings a little more boom than I was expecting.
Here Comes the Boom has the disinterested Scott Voss (Kevin James) deciding to become an MMA fighter to save his school’s music program – and his friend’s job. He has no allusions of glory, only money that can be earned even when he loses (and he expects to lose).
I’m one of those many people who say they don’t understand why Kevin James is so successful and yet have enjoyed a few of his movies over the years. While the actor doesn’t take a lot of risks with this movie, he somehow manages to stay away from the stereotypical fat man jokes for the most part – an impressive feat given that he spends a good chunk of his time shirtless in the cage fighting against men who are in much better shape than he is.
Here Comes the Boom isn’t the funniest of movies, but it is entertaining, heartwarming and fun to watch. James carries the film well, and while Salma Hayek doesn’t add a lot to the equation, the Fonz is a blast. More importantly, director Frank Coraci (The Wedding Singer, The Waterboy) manages to – somehow – make the fight scenes work in spite of the ridiculousness of it all. I mean… Kevin James as a high school biology teacher turned MMA fighter?
And yet the fight scenes are a lot of fun to watch. They may not be at the level of Rocky, but they suck you in nonetheless. The climactic fight sequence is surprisingly gripping.
Here Comes the Boom isn’t a comedy classic, but it’s worth more attention than it received in theaters. A fun ride from beginning to end, the movie is one of Kevin James’ best movies.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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