Here Comes The Boom - Review
Review by Rob Carnevale
TO say that Here Comes The Boom is one of Kevin James’s better recent movies is damning it with faint praise.
Rather, it’s a typically knuckle-headed offering that once again relies on its leading man’s apparent relish for humiliating himself physically.
James plays apathetic teacher Scott Voss who is moved to take action when budget cuts threaten the career of his high school’s inspirational music teacher (Henry Winkler). Desperate to raise the funds needed to save him, Voss takes up mixed martial arts fighting, relying on his former skills as a wrestler to see him through.
Credibility strain aside, and without going into the dubious morality of what’s at play, Frank Coraci’s film slips up by opting to consistently go for the low-brow and obvious rather than expanding on anything interesting it might have to say.
Early on, there are some pot-shots at education and social responsibility that hint at a higher intellect but all too quickly the film sets into a repetitive groove of having James beaten up or make a fool of himself (or both) which soon becomes self-defeating.
Once the cliches begin to fly as quick as the smack-downs it’s not only James who is on a hiding to nothing, with Coraci opting to pander to the conventions set by the likes of Rocky and Warrior rather than attempting to have a little more fun by parodying them.
James remains a genial on-screen presence but is increasingly becoming as lazy comedically as running mate Adam Sandler (whose Happy Madison pictures produce), even though he throws himself into the fights with notable conviction.
The remainder of the cast, though, is largely on auto-pilot and somewhat straight-jacketed by the adherence to stereotype.
Come the film’s overly predictable final third, audiences may feel as beaten up and bruised as James’s central character given the flag-waving, cheesy sentimentalising and chase your dream preaching that also takes place.
Here Comes The Boom may do well with its target audience but, again, that isn’t saying much.
Running time: 105mins
UK Release Date: November 9, 2012