Here Comes The Boom: An inspirational teacher movie with a lot of kick
08:21 GMT, 9 November 2012
HERE COMES THE BOOM (12A)
Verdict: More of a bust, really
Here Comes The Boom is a weird but far from unwatchable mixture of two genres: the inspirational-teacher movie (notable examples of which include Mr Holland’s Opus and The School Of Rock) and fight film. You could say it’s The School Of Rocky.
Kevin James plays a biology teacher who takes up cage-fighting to save his school’s music department, run by a weary but still feisty Henry Winkler.
Kevin also has his eye on a pretty fellow teacher (Salma Hayek), who admires him for standing up to the stiff, bureaucratic headmaster (Greg Germann).
Inspiring pupils with a fighting spirit: Scott Voss, played by Kevin James, with Brazilian fighter, played by Romulo Barral
The storyline is pure Hollywood formula, and when our flabby hero starts to win fights against professional opponents, any credibility flies straight out the classroom window.
The film very nearly plays as a parody of the sporting underdog movie, and it comes as a shock to realise we’re meant to be taking it seriously.
Some of the vomiting and bottom gags are so crude they might have been written for the film’s executive producer, Adam Sandler.
Worse, the picture peddles misinformation all too horribly familiar from many other Sandler films: the way to a woman’s heart is to sexually harass her; the way to prove your manhood is to beat people up — that sort of thing.
The film rises above idiocy thanks to a good-hearted performance by James — his least obnoxious yet by some margin — and competent direction by Frank Coraci, whose biggest hit will probably always be The Wedding Singer.
I went in with rock-bottom expectations and came out pleasantly surprised. It isn’t completely awful.