Kevin James underwhelms in cliche underdog story "Here Comes the Boom"
Often, films recycle past successful concepts to drive the plot, resonate with viewers, and add a new spin on its typical elements. This formulaic model is prevalent in the new sports comedy, “Here Comes the Boom,” making it overly predictable and clichéd, and often too comparable to films such as “School of Rock” and “Dodgeball.”
The comedy stars Kevin James as Scott Voss, high school biology teacher by day and American Citizenship Test instructor by night, who embarks on a mission to raise $48,000 to save his school’s music program that has fallen victim to extensive budget cuts. Teaming up with a classic witty sidekick, music teacher Marty (Henry Winkler), and Niko (Bas Rutten), an ex–Mixed Martial Arts fighter from Holland, Voss commences a ridiculous journey towards becoming an MMA fighter.
Initially, their quest is a “blind leading the blind” tale. Once their act is (somewhat) together, and all the reused jokes, clichés and impracticality of the situation aside, this film is a semi–inspiring underdog tale. It’s not a mind–bending, must–see thriller, but rather a story with heart. Quoted frequently throughout the film, Friedrich Nietzsche’s proclamation that “without music, life would be a mistake” serves as the motive for this silly cast of characters’ mission. Even if it means being thrown into the arena in a skin–tight one piece to a Frank Sinatra song, Voss faithfully strives to save his students’ cherished pastime of music.
Voss’ effort is valiant, but his subplot romance with Selma Hayek’s Bella Flores is often awkward and unrealistic. James meshes far better with Winkler. The “Boom” dialogue is often stale and somewhat boring, while the plot is more fast–paced. Fans of the Ultimate Fighting Championship or sports comedies may enjoy Kevin James’ performance, but don’t expect to be “boomed” away.
Directed by: Frank Coraci
Starring: Kevin James, Salma Hayek, Henry Winkler