Here Comes the Boom – 3/5 Movie Reviews by Ry!

Here Comes the Boom – 3/5 – When it comes to movies that involve Kevin James, they pretty much suck.  This isn’t a hate-filled post; it’s a pretty much common fact when you see critics and viewers alike just not buy into his tone of films.  This is not to say that he doesn’t try hard to make funny films or bring creative characters, it is just in general, his jokes and directions in films tend to be boring.  Entertaining is something that he does have, with his previous show King of Queens.  With movies like Grown Ups, it shows that he can provide a good feel good movie with fun entertainment.  With this movie, he strikes that perfect accord of good feeling and great entertainment.  Filled with obvious plot elements and inspirational overtones, this movie really surprised me, plus the added premise of UFC and mixed martial arts is something I like.

The movie revolves around a high school biology teacher (Kevin James) who gets involved in money raising scheme to save extracurricular activities and the job of the music teacher (Henry Winkler).  To do this, he decides to fight in mixed martial arts and participate in tournament in low end arenas.  He eventually gets a shot at a UFC match, where careers are on the line, and the hope of the school rides on his shoulders.   If you have seen a Kevin James films, you know he will provide a family filled comedy, and this one is no exception (even with the UFC involvement).  Pretty much, his actions, interactions and comedic elements are simple jokes or standard improv.  If you’re use to seeing his stuff, then you can pretty much assume you will see something can keep your attention, good or bad.  Overall, Kevin James as a biology teacher does feels real and down to heart.  He first starts off as someone who doesn’t care about his job or kids, but when he is thrown into this situation and has to fight, he begins to find motivation in himself (pretty standard in feel good movies) and that begins to exude to everyone else around him.  This includes the music teacher (Henry Winkler) the nurse at the school (Salma Hayek), all the students at school and a foreigner trying to become an American (Gary Valentine).  Through this, it is pretty generic, but what makes it stand out is it felt real.  That added element is what keeps you emotional involved.  For the other characters, nothing really stands out of the norm, but Mr. Winkler.  He provides great depth through the use of music and certain quotes and interactions with Kevin James’s character.  You feel for him, and root for him to not lose his job at the school.  Salma Hayek’s character could have been played by anyone else, and I’m going to provide a guess that she was brought in to play this role to provide another big nametag on the film.

The overall direction of the film is pretty straight forward, and you can read it in the synopsis in the paragraph above.  Kevin James fights in low level fights, get his ass pretty handed to him, but eventually starts to win, gaining confidence, which leads to him to the obvious main event in the climax.  Every predictable moment happens in the last fight, and you know pretty much what will happen, just with maybe some unique twist because of the involvement of the UFC.  Unlike other films that do this and fail, this film succeeds because you feel attached throughout because of the common inspirational overtones that happen in real life, through these characters.   This movie does use the generic ‘underdog succeeding’ tone like a lot of other films in this field, but if you can bring realism and some kind of attachment to the audience, it goes beyond just another feel good movie.  That is done in this movie, and you feel good for the journey you have completed by the end.

Overall, this movie does well in providing inspirational elements, tone and rhythm (no pun intended).  You see decent acting, as you watch Kevin James in all his fights.  I will give him this; he looks pretty buff in the scenes when he fights.  You see he was dedicated to the role.  Outside of him and Winkler thought, nothing else stands out in any other character involved in this film.  Obvious plot elements, simple direction, and predictable climax do bring down the film a little bit, but the realism keeps you attached as you are entertained till the end.  I would recommend for a family night out to the movies, a definite rental when released on DVD/blu-ray.

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