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Here Comes The Boom (2012)
Friday, October 12, 2012
Bouts of MMA sports violence, some rude humor and language
Kevin James, Salma Hayek, Henry Winkler, Joe Rogan, Greg Germann, Reggie Lee, Charice, Nicholas R. Grava, Bas Rutten
Kevin James, Allan Loeb, Rock Reuben
In the comedy Here Comes the Boom, former collegiate wrester Scott Voss (Kevin James) is a 42-year-old apathetic biology teacher in a failing high school. When cutbacks threaten to cancel the music program and lay off its teacher (Henry Winkler,) Scott begins to raise money by moonlighting as a mixed martial arts fighter. Everyone thinks Scott is crazy – most of all the school nurse, Bella (Salma Hayek) – but in his quest, Scott gains something he never expected as he becomes a sensation that rallies the entire school.
Here Comes The Boom (2012) | Review
A Good Movie That Leaves You Feeling Good
Here Comes the Boom is a lot like its star Kevin James; it's funny and it has a lot of heart. It's one of those increasingly rare movies populated with good people who want to do the right thing just because it is the right thing. It's a movie that wants you to feel good, and leaves you feeling just that way. Sure it's a little cliche. Sure it's a pretty typical "underdog who gets an improbable win" type of story. It doesn't have many surprises and it's saccharine sweet, but I found it charming, often very funny, and very heartfelt. Plus, it just left me feeling good after it reached its inevitable happy ending, and quite frankly, I like that.
The central message of this movie centers around the need for hope, inspiration, and resolve. Kevin James plays a high school biology teacher who literally fights, as in goes out and does MMA (mix martial arts) fights and eventually goes all the way to the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship), all to raise enough money to save his school's music program; not just to preserve that teacher's job, but also so the kids can continue to be inspired by music. It's a fun story, and entertaining to see a 42 year-old biology teacher try and survive in the MMA octagon. I've been learning a little MMA myself recently (mostly for the exercise, not for competition), and I have to say, the exhaustion and pain exhibited by James' character all rang true; that sport ain't easy, especially at my age (or James' age).
Now, there are plenty of people in this world who could use a little hope and inspiration; the question is where are they going to get it from? Well, at our church, we have a saying; I Am They. What that means is oftentimes we might hear people say, "They should do something about that." We hear of the need for hope and inspiration and it's easy to think, "Yeah, that'd be good, someone should do that." Well, who will that someone be? Who is They? The answer proposed at our church is, I Am They. You and I are the answer. If we see a need, we shouldn't wait for "someone" to act, we shouldn't wait for "them" to do something; we are that someone, we are they. We can step up and provide that hope and inspiration, we can take action and make a difference. It's not up to someone else, it's up to us. In Here Comes the Boom, Scott Voss (James) steps up in a moment of need and says, "I am they", and hopefully, it will inspire more of us to be willing to do the same.
While Kevin James is the undisputed star of this movie, he's ably supported by a great cast. Henry Winkler puts in a touching turn as the music teacher whose job and program is in trouble. Selma Hayek plays the sweet and fun love interest for Kevin James, and they have some great chemistry. And then there are plenty of actual MMA and UFC figures in the film as well. One of the best is Bas Rutten who plays Niko. His role is delightfully fun, energetic and just plain likable (with a little wackiness). His character reminds me of those people that you just can't help liking because they're always so full of joy and childlike glee; they just enjoy life and you can't help enjoying it either when they're around.
Another thing I appreciate about this movie is just how family-friendly it is. Yes, there are some MMA fights and a little blood, but nothing super graphic or viciously violent. More than that though, it's a movie without any harsh language or any suggestive themes; it's just a fun, funny movie that I would totally feel comfortable showing to my whole family. We get plenty of that with the CG fare these days (though sometimes, not even then), but it's rare to have that with a live action movie. Well, I'm glad that Here Comes the Boom is truly family fare.
I can't help but think that, seeing as he was one of the writers for the movie, Kevin James really had it on his heart to share a story of hope and inspiration, that he wanted to tell people that when things get tough it's still worth fighting for the good things in life. Resolve is necessary, and we may get some bumps and bruises along the way, but in the end, doing the right thing is always worth it. Those values and the message pour forth from this movie in a heartfelt and sincere way, and it's also willing to laugh-it-up with some delightfully enjoyable and fun character along the way. Here Comes the Boom is one of those good movies that makes you feel good after you've seen it. It's not Oscar bait, it's not Shakespeare, but it is fun, and sometimes that's enough.
Copyright © 2012 Hollywood Jesus. All rights reserved.
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