Here Comes the Boom – Movie Review
Kevin James has upped his ante, if only slightly so.
I’ve always thought that Kevin James is a funny guy; after all, he helped make The King of Queens one of my favorite sitcoms. Once that show was canceled, though, it seems that the movies he both wrote and starred in – albeit not always the same case on each film – have generally been mediocre or just plain crap. Example, he was the main star of Zookeeper last year. I haven’t even seen that film and I know that he made a pretty poor career choice there. Still, I like him as an actor, for he is usually very funny and likable in his roles. He seems to be striving to remind the American public that those qualities still exist in him with his latest film effort Here Comes the Boom. He wrote and stars in this film as well, and in that sense I hoped that this would bring an extra amount of heart and hilarity to a premise that could either be over-the-top silly or inspiring. Ultimately, does Here Comes the Boom present us with a surprising career shift for the former television comedian or does Kevin James get pummeled in the face?
Scott Voss (Kevin James) is a former collegiate wrestler who is now a 42-year-old apathetic biology teacher. He goes to work every single day with the mindset that he won’t be able to do anything to truly make a difference in his students’ lives, especially in a school failing so miserably: Wilkinson High School. One fateful day, Principal Becher (Greg Germann) of Wilkinson High announces that continuing losses of funds has resulted in the decision to make further budget cuts. He announces that these cuts have resulted in the discontinuation of the music program, which also means that its teacher Marty (Henry Winkler) will lose his job. Feeling concerned for his colleague, Scott spontaneously and courageously volunteers to come up with a plan to raise the $48,000 to save the program. While seeking ideas, he visits the home of his friend Niko (Bas Rutten) and watches a UFC fight with him and his friends. Realizing the amount of money that could be won by fighting in mixed martial arts competitions – and the fact that he is a former wrestler – Scott decides to enlist Niko to train him for MMA so he can save his friend’s job.
It’s easy to see why so many people have criticized this film for copying Warrior. For one thing, both protagonists are science teachers who are experiencing financial struggle, although in different ways. Secondly, they both have backgrounds in fighting, so they decide to fight mixed martial arts in order to win the money they need. It may be coincidental, but Here Comes the Boom is indeed considerably derivative of one of 2011’s best films. Essentially, this is the comedic, family-friendly version of Warrior. Despite how banal and moronic it is as a result of that, HCTB still managed to entertain me in the end. This is undeniably Kevin James’ best work since The King Of Queens was unceremoniously canceled. The script has many silly moments in it, but it’s not over-the-top like most family comedies nowadays- it is indeed possible that adult audiences can be entertained by this film. To illustrate that, there were some parts in which I felt like facepalming myself. Other times, I was laughing my butt off from a perfectly timed joke. Oh, and do you remember that scene from the end of the trailer in which Kevin James tries to dunk a basketball? That part is actually much funnier in the final cut in the film. In short, in terms of hilarity the jokes aren’t completely consistent, but at least there are enough entertaining moments to the point that you won’t want to shoot yourself.