For The Love Of Film is a weekly column from film nerd and lover of all movies Justin Proper. Sometimes you need some help to figure out how to enjoy movies, and we are here to help! No longer will you need to fear movie night because your friends have no taste in film. With this column you will be able to love even the worst gems to ever grace the silver screen.
Kevin James is something of a mystery to me. I will be the first in line to tell you how bad that mall cop movie is, and I really was not a fan of Grown Ups. Despite those bombs I will still watch King Of Queens if it is on (and it almost always is on one channel or another) and his standup is one of my favorites. When I saw that he was making a mixed martial arts movie I was intrigued. After seeing Here Comes The Boom I have a renewed faith in James, because this movie is seriously entertaining.
In Here Comes The Boom Kevin James plays a burnt out biology teacher who has given up on the education system and the kids he teaches. Then he finds himself starting to get inspired by Henry Winkler, who plays the music teacher, and his dedication to his job and music. Unfortunately budget cuts lead to Winkler’s job being in jeopardy unless James can raise 48k by the end of the school year. How will he come up with the money? By entering MMA fights to win the money needed to save Winkler’s job. Oh, and Salma Hayek is the school nurse he tries to impress the whole movie.
This movie is not without its fair share of faults, however. At its core Here Comes The Boom is an inspirational teacher movie with an MMA twist, so it has all the pitfalls of a motivational movie. There is a lot of cheesy, preachy, unrealistic dialogue throughout. The story is predictable (for the most part) and there is at least one (probably more) character that could have been eliminated completely without affecting the tone or pacing of the film. Critics have said it is bland and underwhelming with little real comedy.
I think I know why this movie underperformed with critics. First, I think it was advertised completely wrong. This movie was made out to be some great comedy with a good message. That is not what it is. Here Comes The Boom is a solid movie with a good message and elements of comedy based on the characters. If you go in expecting to laugh out loud the whole time you will be let down. That being said, the characters in the film are quite funny because they are real. I know people that act like Kevin James acts in this movie, and I understand that if you have not met someone with that kind of personality it seems a bit unbelievable. The same can be said of Henry Winkler’s character, but I assure you music teachers like him exist. I had one growing up, and his character hit really close to home for me.
I wont ruin it, but there is a scene in Here Comes The Boom that you will not see coming, but it will have you laughing so hard you will wake up your whole house at 3:30 in the morning. When critics say that the movie did not have much comedy I am just baffled. The other reason you should definitely give this movie a watch is the action. The MMA fights are shot really well. The fights are brutal, and you can feel the punches. Kevin James spent a lot of time making sure he was ready for filming these fights, and it shows. Instead of feeling overly staged and faked all the fights are real and intense. The final fight of the movie was shot in such a way that even someone who watches MMA fights regularly will be impressed.
Here Comes The Boom deserves better than the mediocre reviews it received. It was an inspiring story with plenty of action and some great laughs mixed in. If you really cannot get behind a movie starring Kevin James then at least take the time to watch him get beaten severely for 110 minutes. Make sure you give this one a shot, it is definitely worth your time.