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Movie rating system (0-2) The movie is balls (2-4) A few moments but mostly bad (4-5.5) Entertaining film but lacking something to make it good. (6-7.5) A recommendation meaning a good solid watch. (8-10) must watch films, they are usually leaders in their respective genre. I can also be found on Facebook or follow my blog at the bottom of this page. THERE MAY BE MINI SPOILERS AHEAD!!! But there will be no endings/twists/cameos/or large plot reveals given.

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Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Here Comes the Boom

Here Comes the Boom
Comedy (Sports, Family)
Rated: PG
Running Time: 105 minutes
Starring: Kevin Smith, Henry Winkler, Salma Hayek, Greg Germann, Bas Rutten
Directed By: Frank Coraci
Rating: 4 out of 10
A high school biology teacher is forced to MMA fight, so he can raise enough money to save his friends job.

I once got food poisoning from eating baby carrots. What happened to my stomach for the next 12 hours could be appropriately described by the title of this film. It was also a more pleasant experience to go through than this movie was. Obviously I only jest, and to be fair this was better than I thought it would be. Here Comes the Boom is the story of Scott Voss. He is a high school biology teacher that tries to become a professional MMA (mixed-martial arts) fighter. He hopes to raise enough money to save his schools extracurricular programs from being cancelled.

I needed a mindless watch, so I popped this movie into the PS-3, and away we go. It didn’t take long for me to get that familiar Adam Sandler stank from this movie. Looking further into it, I see that Happy Madison (Sandler’s Company) was a producer for this, and director Frank Coraci, has shot a couple of Sandler films in the past. I only mention it because the humor is noticeably bad or absent in this. The film starts and we are introduced to Scott Voss as he sleeps through his alarm, which in turn makes him late for school. When he finally arrives at the school, he lets his students do whatever they want as he catches some more shut eye. It establishes Scott as a man coasting through life, with little ambition and no goals. The film doesn’t really get under way until the schools music program is threatened with cancellation, and a fellow teacher’s job is at risk of being axed. Scott plays the unlikely hero and steps up to save the day. He decides to raise the money needed to save the music program, by himself. So he takes on night teaching classes and quickly realizes it won’t be nearly enough. After racking his brain, he comes up with the decision of fighting in MMA bouts for the cash. The problem is he has to start at the very bottom of the sport. So he fights in abandoned warehouses, he fights in broken ass rings, and he even fights in the rain. Surprisingly, the fights are actually entertaining to watch, and Voss is not out of place in the ring. The premise is preposterous and yet you will enjoy him giving and taking punches. The humor however, is nowhere to be found. They try to find humor with immigrants who can’t speak English properly. They try to find humor in Voss puking. They try and find humor in Voss sexually harassing the school nurse, and they even try to find humor with Neil Diamond music. This is where the film loses its way, and that is because this is the lowest form of humor these days. It is Adam Sandler humor.

Kevin James plays Scott Voss, and you know what? He is actually very good in the role. He is likeable as the goofy yet loveable teacher, and he is fun to watch in the ring. James is in no way a fighter, but he doesn’t look out of place in the ring. I liked James, but the problem is with his supporting cast. Henry Winkler plays the teacher whose job is going to be cancelled, and talk about vanilla. Winkler’s gentle humor wouldn’t have been funny in the 1960’s let alone today. He bumbles his way through this movie, making mistakes as Voss’s unofficial manager. He forgets the ring chair, he forgets the theme music, and he forgets that he is supposed to be funny. Salma Hayek plays Voss’s love interest and she is little more than a tight shirt in this. Pick any actress out there, and she could have filled in for Hayek.

So as the deadline approaches for the money that is due, Voss is forced to take on bigger and bigger fights. He trains with a former professional fighter so he can win fights, and more importantly not get killed. In his noble quest to save his colleagues job, Voss realizes that he has strayed as a teacher. In finding passion in the ring, he also finds passion in teaching biology to his students. It is cheesy, but I liked the feel good angle. So Voss gets punched, kicked, choked, gouged, and just beaten to a bloody pulp in this, all for the viewer’s amusement. He then encourages the so called weirdo’s and losers of his class to speak up and to chase their dreams. The film coasts from fight to fight, and from class to class. By the end of the film, you will want Voss to win the big fight and to win the nurses affection. In a time where most movies go for the crude humor, it is good to see that these types of films still exist. In conclusion, haven’t we seen this same premise before in School of Rock? This film is fun in that it never takes itself too seriously. James makes this film really easy to watch and the fighting is eventful. Unfortunately, the lack of humor and Winkler’s performance weigh in on the films quality factor for the whole movie. This film will make you smile, but will leave you feeling disappointed.

Director Frank Coraci, loves to make movies that are light hearted with positive vibes (The Waterboy, Zookeeper). The problem is that he is so formulaic, that his films always seem one dimensional. His incorporation of real MMA fighters was the right touch, and his pacing does keep the viewer interested. I liked this films message and I liked the progression. The problem is this film was not funny in the slightest, and Coraci does nothing to make it funny. He did an okay job on a film that should have been god awful, so I will give him a pass.

I cannot recommend this film but it was way better than expected.

T Factor + If you like family/feel good films, then this could score higher on the rating scale.

T Factor – If you do not like Kevin James as an actor, then this could score lower on the rating scale.

If you liked this film reel recommendations: School of Rock, The Longest Yard.  

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