Here Comes The Boom
In “Here Comes The Boom” Kevin James pretty much said hey wouldn’t it be funny if I played a UFC fighter? And then they left it at that. But James and the jokes land with a resounding thud over and over and over again. “Here Comes The Boom” is more like Here Comes The Bomb.
James plays a High School Biology teacher in a rundown public school with budget problems. When the school board decides to cut the school’s music program to fill a budget shortfall, James decides to become a UFC fighter to raise enough money to save it and his friend the music teacher’s (Henry Winkler) job. He figures since UFC fighters get paid whether they win or lose, he could probably lose his way to saving the day.
James’ is no Carpe Diem seize the day type teacher. He’s a slacker coasting on past achievements. He dupes a friend into taking over bus duty responsibilities, reads the sports pages in class and ignores his duties, and tells a student education doesn’t matter. He was supposedly teacher of the year a decade ago, but based on his actions here I wouldn’t trust him to teach my dog to go fetch. He’s unlikeable, unfunny, and worst of all boring.
When he gets his own (remarkably forced) rebirth in the classroom James tries for his own “Dead Poets Society” moment. But he seems to believe all it takes to inspire is to have a teacher stand on a table. It’s a typical Happy Madison production but James can’t blame his comedy godfather Adam Sandler for this one. He co-wrote the script.
Once James steps into the octagon, the fighting sequences are indifferently staged. Director Frank Coraci (who earlier helmed James in Zookeeper) sticks in a few handheld shots for window dressing, but they’re remarkably boring as he works his way up to the inevitable big fight. Even simple pratfalls fall flat here. One mixed martial arts bout played in a pouring rain storm is the closest the movie comes to a laugh, but instead of building to anything James and his opponent just flop around. This is a one joke movie that doesn’t know how to tell its one joke.