Here Comes The Boom (3 stars)

Here Comes The Boom

Undemanding comedy set in the world of mixed martial arts, starring Kevin James

A mixed-martial arts comedy from Adam Sandler’s Happy Madison production line, and taking its title from the chorus of a raucous song by nu metal band P.O.D., Frank Coraci’s film doesn’t have the pedigree to inspire much confidence. But Coraci, the director of Sandler’s best film The Wedding Singer, still can muster a bit of charm and energy, and finds an ideal leading man in Kevin James, who scored a similar low-brow, blue-collar hit as an accident prone security guard in Paul Blart: Mall Cop.

Here Comes The Boom features James as Scott Voss, a high-school biology teacher who lacks drive until he discovers his schools’ extra-curricular activities are under threat from funding cuts. Inspired by his music teacher friend (Henry 'Fonzie’ Wrinkler), Voss decided to enter the world of mixed martial arts, with epic failure the immediate result. But getting paid to take a beating works as a way of raising funds, and wins Voss an admirer in school nurse Bella (improbably played by Salma Hayek). Despite the school’s disapproval of his activities, Voss begins to show promise as a fighter, but as the fights get tougher, the stakes can only get higher…

Years of TV work in The King Of Queens sitcom have shown James to have a desultory charisma, and Coraci wisely plays this silly sporting story reasonably straight, with action montages and a few crowd-pleasing gags. The fights are fairly authentic looking without being overtly violent, although any questioning of the morality of violent sports is airbrushed out of the family friendly picture. It’s all considerably more tasteful than Sandler’s own awful run of films lately, and as an undemanding time-passer, Here Comes The Boom just about goes the distance.

Here Comes the Boom trailer

Here Comes the Boom

  • 3 stars
  • 2012
  • US
  • 1h 45min
  • 12A
  • Directed by: Frank Coraci
  • Written by: Kevin James, Allan Loeb, Rock Reuben
  • Cast: Kevin James, Salma Hayek, Henry Winkler
  • UK release: 9 November 2012

Scott Voss (James) is a high-school biology teacher who enters the world of mixed martial arts in an effort to raise funds for his school. Coraci wisely plays a silly story reasonably straight, and James' desultory charisma makes for an undemanding time-passer.