Here Comes the Boom is a solid, funny comedy.
I’ll stop here to let you absorb the fact that Kevin James has finally made a movie worth seeing and that Adam Sandler’s production company Happy Madison has finally made a flick that doesn’t shoot for the lowest common denominator. An affable reworking of the formula that made Happy Gilmore a success, Here Comes the Boom doesn’t blaze any trails but it’s a surprisingly good flick.
Kevin James stars as Scott Voss, a burned-out biology teacher who becomes a human punching bag in an attempt to raise funds to save the music program at his cash-strapped high school. His flirtatious relationship with the school nurse (Salma Hayek) is sweet and believable due largely to James’ natural charm and the fact that he got into shape for this movie, making it tolerable to watch him sans shirt for a large chunk of the flick.
The supporting cast is brilliant without overwhelming, providing good jokes but never overstaying their welcome. Former MMA fighter Bas Rutten slays as Voss’ citizenship-seeking MMA instructor, happily playing against the type you’d expect from a man who spent decades brutalizing opponents in the ring. Henry Winkler continues his career renaissance as a bumbling expert (Arrested Development, The Waterboy) as the music teacher whose love blinds him to reality.
The MMA fighting in Here Comes the Boom is brutal and visceral, and the filmmakers give it respect (while humorously differentiating it from the theatricality of professional wrestling). While the film’s inevitable conclusion stretches credibility it is entertaining and heartfelt enough to justify the schmaltzy cliché.
A mix of physical humor and situational comedy, director Frank Coraci (Zookeeper, The Wedding Singer) has done good work in crafting a product that doesn’t fall into the traps of most Sandler-led films. A crowd-pleasing combination of comedy, action and melodrama with a likeable protagonist and hilarious supporting characters, The Boom is destined to be a Saturday afternoon classic.
Recommended If You Like: