Movie review: “Here Comes the Boom”

“Here Comes the Boom” will be booming at the box office. Between the comedy, fight scenes, and Kevin James’s ability to win over the audience, it won’t even feel like 105 minutes passed by.

This PG comedic family film shows that anyone can make a difference and stand up for what they believe in. Plus, even teachers can have exciting hobbies, such as mixed martial arts fighting.

The plot centers around Scott Voss, played by the hilarious James, who viewers may recognize from “The King of Queens” and “Paul Blart: Mall Cop.” James also helped write and produce the film. His character is a high school biology teacher who cares more about landing a date with Bella Flores, the school nurse played by Salma Hayek, than teaching his class.

After finding out that budget cuts will force the school to terminate extracurricular programs, Voss is determined to help music teacher Marty Streb, played by Henry Winkler, keep his job. The only way to do that is by raising thousands of dollars.

To make extra money for the music program, Voss takes on a second job teaching night class. From that, he meets Niko, a student played by Bas Rutten — a real mixed martial artist. Rutten steals the spotlight with his high energy and likeability. When a big guy like Rutten trains women for disco self-defense classes and yoga, he brings his personality to the character. Although he seems tough, he’s really a softy.

Director Frank Coraci, who previously worked on “Zookeeper” and “The Waterboy”, highlights just how funny James is, especially in the scenes where his character is totally clueless about the rules of mixed martial arts. Voss becomes passionate about fighting, which motivates him to feel that way again about teaching. He is making a difference for his students and gaining back his lust for life.

Music is tied in throughout the movie, especially the song used as James walks into the fighting cage. “Boom”, by metal band P.O.D., is his intro song that pumped him up.

The movie has a concept similar to “Warrior” minus the drama, and the school dynamic of “School of Rock.” For those who enjoy Ultimate Fighting Championship, the camera angles during the fight scenes are realistic and true to the sport. It captures the energy that the fights give off,  while building excitement and anticipation. Every punch, kick, or knockout emphasizes the intensity that Voss’ character faces. There are also cameos by Joe Rogan and Charice.

Grab the popcorn — extra butter, please — and see for yourself why audiences of all ages are engaged in the story of “Here Come the Boom”. It’s a feel-good movie that requires nothing but an appreciation for teaching and making the most out of getting thrown in the ring.

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