I am guilty of holding out on watching Here Comes the Boom on the cinema despite the fact that I think Kevin James is one of the most talented comedians out there because I fervently dislike Charice, who plays one of the students in this movie. When my brother finally saw it on video and told me it was good, I finally caved and set aside my reservations for the better part of two hours and dived in.
Here Comes the Boom sees Kevin James playing a disillusioned Biology high school teacher Scott Voss , who, in a bid to save the school’s music program, the dreams of the school’s young musicians, and the job of one of his colleagues, decides to fight in the MMA to raise the funds needed to sustain the program. With the help of one of his evening class students, gym trainer and former fighter Niko (Bas Rutten), the school’s music coach Mr. Streb (Martin Winkler, The Waterboy), and Ms. Flores (Salma Hayek, Grown Ups), Scott sets out to achieve the impossible – learning mixed martial arts and facing off with some of the sport’s toughest fighters to achieve his goal.
Here Comes the Boom is a typical underdog story, where an average guy tries to save the day, faces an insurmountable challenge and gets the girl. What makes Here Comes the Boom fresh is that it incorporates the budding sport of mixed martial arts into the story. The fact that the UFC allowed the film to use the franchise as its backdrop was genius because it not only promoted the UFC but at the same time, it lent an air of authenticity to this popcorn movie and made it really cool.
Bas Rutten was hilarious as Niko, and one wouldn’t think that he was one of the best power punchers in the UFC with the way he was goofing off. There were also familiar faces like Stitch, Joe Rogen, Mike Goldberg, Bruce Buffer and Herb Dean. As a fight fan, I appreciated the number of UFC fighters who turned up in this picture for cameos. Chael Sonnen, Mark Muñoz, and Brian Stann were only some of the popular fighters who played guys who got their asses kicked. It’s great about these guys’ down to earth attitude. They don’t take their stardom too seriously and this is the reason why fight fans connect to the UFC better.
Throughout the movie, it was also noticeable that there were camera angles that showed a fighters’ perspective/line of vision before he got body slammed, or caught in submission moves that gave audiences a closer look at what goes on in the cage, and during training. I thought it was a great move on the part of the director.
Kudos to Kevin James for working hard on this movie. He was still funny as ever (although the jumping up on the desk part was kind of cheesy) although he lost a lot of weight for the role.
All in all, I enjoyed the movie. It wasn’t the typical Happy Madison fare comedy but it had a lot of great highlights despite the generic premise of the film. The film had good energy and it was a great way to salute the hard work that goes behind teaching as a profession and fighting as a sport. I, for one, thought that this message was really cool.
P.S. If you think that this story is impossible to happen in real life, think again. Former Middleweight champ Rich “Ace” Franklin was a high school teacher before he shifted to MMA.