Here comes the Boom is the story of Scott Voss (Kevin james) a bum teacher who finds inspiration in a chance encounter with the music class taught by Marty Streb (Henry Winkler). When the school’s budget cuts threaten to end the music program, Voss volunteers to help raise the money to save it. After finding no other options, he finds the MMA after helping out a wild student (Bas Rutten) in his citizenship class who used to fight. Luckily, as he gets dinged up, he gets closer to his crush, the school nurse, Bella Flores (Salma Hayek). The only problem is that they only have a semester to raise $48,000 or else all is lost! Will he be able to get the money on time?
The best part about the movie is the fight sequences. It uses inspiration from The Fighter and Real Steel, splicing crowd shots, slo mo, reaction shots from invested characters, and very loud volume to raise the stakes. They even add POV shots to add the rollercoaster ride type of experience. Each fight gets bigger than the last.
Another thing this movie does well is just having heart. If you are going to see a movie about the American education system this year, I would recommend this one above others. Why? Because it does not take itself seriously, so when it does touch on the issues, it does not only serve one side or the other. It puts the blame solely on the individual and it makes a lot of sense since our lead starts out as a lazy anti-hero. It’s not just the teachers. The parents also hold themselves accountable as the example use dint he film is that of a father of a smart girl in class.
But that is also where the film cheats. Anywhere this smart girl from Mr. Voss’ class shows up, the scene is guaranteed to be highly emotional or out of place funny. Now I can understand why they needed a kid in the class to for the audience be able to see another perspective on Mr. Voss’ journey but mostly she is just used as a cheap emotionally manipulative plot device. She even has magical powers, she can jump from not knowing the wild student to teaching him how to sing in English without even introducing herself! And of course you know, she loves her music since she walks around with huge headphones. That, my friends, is subtext.
That was a major cheat, some other cheats occur within the plot to help massage the movie towards it’s ending or when a character makes callbacks to things that didn’t actually happen. Of course, with it being a Kevin James movie, the humor can get pretty random and infantile. I mean, it is physical comedy but have some taste. Some of the gags feel like they were trying to squeeze every last laugh in every scene, no matter if it means hitting an extra in the face or not.
Anyways, to sum up, this film stands in pretty stark contrast to recent Happy Madison releases. There is a lot of heart here but the execution leaves more to be desired. I would like to see more films like this from Happy Madison. It’s a decent start.
Overall grade: C+