Wednesday, October 10, 2012

REVIEW: Here Comes The Boom

Here Comes The Boom

Kevin James, Salma Hayek


October 12, 2012

Frank Coraci

Columbia Pictures

1 hour 45 minutes



It's not every day that Adam Sandler's production company Happy Madison churns out something good. Even though the trailers for the latest Kevin James comedy 'Here Comes The Boom' don't mention it, Adam Sandler and his Happy Madison crew are involved with this project. As crazy as this may sound though, this isn't an atrocious slapstick comedy like all of Sandler's films of the past several year. Hell, it's possible that Sandler just put his name on this to support his friends and did nothing else, since he is only the Executive Producer.  Kevin James, who also co-wrote the film, clearly knew that this wasn't a straight forward comedy and had a lot more heart than what to expect from a Kevin James film. The film is funny, don't get me wrong, but the heart and the fighting scenes in this movie are much stronger than what will make the audience laugh. 'Here Comes The Boom' was a true surprise, being funny, touching, and something people will and should cheer for.

42 year old Scott Voss used to be one of the most celebrated used to be one of the most celebrated teachers in the country, which included winning "Teacher of the year" at one point in time. It's been a decade since he's had that fame and fortune, and now he's busy not inspiring his students, getting other teachers to do work assigned to him, and so on. When the school's art program is about to be cut and one of his dear colleagues is about to lose his job, Scott takes a stand and says that they should raise the $48,000 budget themselves. Everyone thinks that Scott has gone nuts when he takes extra jobs at the school which only pay approx. $150 a session. However Scott then comes up with the craziest and most miraculous idea that has the potential to embarrass the school and lose their reputation even more: Scott will train and fight in MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) tournaments and get into the finals where he has the chance to get a $50,000 prize, but only if he wins, which by judging his current state is nearly impossible.

A performance that I didn't expect a lot out of but somewhat enjoyed in this film was actually Kevin James. Normally with one of his films, he's just there to be an awkward fat man who falls over and gets hurt a lot. In this film, he plays a slacking teacher whose only entertainment in life is hitting on a co-worker, played by Salma Hayek. It was interesting seeing James in such a different role than all of his previous movies, and he was somehow really likable most of the time. He also did all of his stunts in this movie, which required him to lose some weight. I give props to James for devoting himself to this role and this film because not a lot of comedians to things like this nowadays. This must have been a personal project or something because the film isn't played for belly laughs or tons of sentimental heart.

Henry Winkler undeniably steals the show as Marty, the music teacher who may be losing his job. It is clear from the beginning of the film that Winkler is the closest thing to a friend that James has in the film, and the performance shows how loyal he is to him. As a music teacher, Marty has tons of experience with all of the musical classics, so it's pretty funny when his musical "expertise" is required for one particular scene. Even the final speech that Winkler makes to James in the climax of the film is surprisingly well-acted. Props are sent to the Fonz for giving an interesting performance in this type of movie. Salma Hayek plays the love interest/fellow teacher of James, and she is good for what she's given. Not much more is needed to be said there. Everyone else in the film, including pop sensation Charice (yes, she does sing in the film) and retired mixed martial artist Bas Rutten, are all good in the movie, and that's really all that can be said about that.

The film has its flaws by all means. It's predictable, generic, and brings nothing really new to the table. Thanks to the performances, surprisingly well-written script, and heart that's present in here though, 'Here Comes The Boom' turned out to be a satisfying fall treat, and the perfect starring vehicle for one Kevin James. The wrestling sequences in the film (the serious ones) are nothing short of spectacular, and James is a character who people will stand up and cheer for in the end, even though everyone in the theater will know what will be the overall outcome in the end. It has its moments of blood and intensity for younger viewers, but this is, without a doubt, a family movie that will make money. This time however, the money is well deserved. I raise my glass to Executive Producer Adam Sandler for giving full control of this film to his friends rather than butting in himself.  That really made a difference, and I'm still shocked by that.

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