Here Comes the Boom
Directed by: Frank Coraci
Cast: Kevin James, Henry Winkler, Salma Hayek, Bas Rutten, Charice
Running Time: 1 hr 45 mins
Due Out: February 5, 2013
PLOT: When the principal announces the school’s music program is going to be cut, the lackadaisical biology teacher (James) decides to participate in MMA in order to save it and the job of the music teacher (Winkler).
WHO’S IT FOR? If the comedy stylings of Kevin James appeal to you, you’re probably already planning on watching this. Everyone else should find some other way to spend their time.
Everything about Here Comes the Boom is obvious and unearned. Characters end up exactly where you think they will, even if it makes no logical sense. The word hero gets thrown around the way you’d imagine Kevin James falling down as a punch line would be. It doesn’t help that I don’t buy the premise at all. James as an MMA fighter isn’t even the biggest hurdle for me (though any result other than the real UFC fighter punching the biology teacher’s head off his neck seems completely implausible). The problem is that we’re given no good reason why James’ Mr. Voss would fight to save the music teacher’s job. Scott Voss is established as a lazy teacher who stopped caring long ago. When he goes to the music room with the intention of passing off bus duty, Henry Winkler’s Marty greets him as though they’ve barely said five words to each other. I’m to believe that all of a sudden this guy not only cares about music, but he cares enough to get in the octagon with a beast man boasting the moniker “The Executioner”? Please.
Kevin James gives the exact performance you’d expect. If nothing else, I suppose his physicality is admirable (not so much in the unbelievable fight scenes as when he hops up on the desk and starts teaching like a maniac). Tellingly, the two liveliest performances come from non-actors: former MMA fighter Bas Rutten & singer Charice. While they never do anything particularly memorable, the two of them briefly singing Journey’s “Faithfully” (or a presidential term limit version of it) is charming. Salma Hayek’s character is pathetic. Sure, her school nurse brings the students together in one of the film’s sweeter moments. Even that, though, feels as unearned as everything else involving her character. Winkler is an always likeable presence (here’s hoping for a little Barry Zuckerkorn magic when “Arrested Development” returns), but that’s where it ends. And that’s the whole film. Even the best moments are no more than passable.
After slogging through the uninspired and unfunny 105 minutes, I was desperate to find something to laugh at. Wanting to give this one more chance to do it, I opted to give the gag reel a shot. “Surely James, Winkler, Hayek, or Rutten flubbed a line in an amusing way,” I naively thought. Alas, nary a laugh was had. Everybody looked like they had a gas making Here Comes the Boom, so at least they got some fun out of it, I guess. I sure didn’t.
MOVIE SCORE: 3/10
18 Deleted Scenes
“Here Comes the Cast” Featurette