Ok, let me tell you from the get go, this is a very predictable movie. Cheesy in places, corny in places and there’s a 100 such movies in various languages with the same type of storyline and a different sport/activity in which the hero excels in. The outcome is predictable yet you find yourself rooting for the underdog hero. Just change the sport – which in this case is Mixed Martial Arts and the UFC. There’s something in us that wants to be in the shoe of the kind of hero as portrayed by Kevin James and be the one who persists despite all the naysayers and the odds stacked against him.
Needless to say that despite knowing all this in advance and predicting the story I still wanted to watch it – because I like Kevin James. Plus the lovely Salma Hayek is in it! What more do you want? Directed by Frank Coraci, written by Allan Loeb, Kevin James and Martin Solibakke, Here Comes The Boom also has Henry Winkler & Bas Rutten with a special appearance by Joe Rogan as himself. James plays Scott Voss, a one time high school & college wrestling champ, who went on to become a high school biology teacher. Initially he excelled as a teacher as well and won awards for his work, but 10 years on he finds himself a disillusion 42 year old man going through the motions in a school struggling to stay within their budget. The only time he seems motivated is when he tries to get a date with the sex school nurse Bella Flores (Hayek) but she keeps turning him down. When the principal announces a budget cut which means that the school will have to stop their music programme and let go of the music teacher Marty (Winkler), Scott can’t stay silent. Concerned for both his colleague and his students, Voss attempts to raise the $48,000 necessary to keep the music program alive.
At first Scott tries to work as night instructor for a citizenship class. While helping a Dutch immigrant Niko with extra classes at his home, Scott realizes that Niko was a former mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter. While watching UFC at Niko’s apartment, Voss learns that the loser of the fight receives $10,000, which gives him the idea of raising the money by fighting in MMA himself. Voss then begins fighting in small MMA fights and gradually gaining more and more money for the school with training from Niko and Niko’s friend Mark DelaGrotte and support from Marty. Whenever he gets hurt he goes to Bella for a patch up and they slowly become closer and share moments of affection without actually dating. Scott also regains his passion for teaching and gets his students more involved in their classes. He also becomes a hero in his school for his efforts and has a brief notoriety in Youtube. Scott also helps his brother become a chef for the father of one of Scott’s students, so that she doesn’t have to spend her free time helping in the restaurant. This allows her to pursue her dream of music, while he pursues his dream of cooking.
As his story gets more popularity, he finds out that the UFC had approached Niko to offer Scott a fight in their league but Niko turned it down due to jealously. When confronted Niko apologies and tells Scott that he had gotten injured just before he was to debut in the UFC and was momentarily jealous of Scott – a 42 year old former college wrestler who is making a name now. They patch things up and get Joe Rogan to meet with them where Rogan gets Scott a match against Ken Dietrich, who opponent had to cancel. With much fanfare Scott, Niko, Mark & Marty travel to Las Vegas and have an enjoyable evening at the hotel. However Bella calls Scott and tells him that the Vice principal, who was entrusted with the funds has been embezzling both from the winnings and the school, meaning all his effort so far has been lost. Almost giving up hope Scott he can get $50,000 if he wins the fight and decides to go ahead with the fight. At the arena, Scott is touched to see that Rogan has arranged for Scott’s school band and some of the teachers to attend the fight.
As the fight begins Dietrich decides that he is going to teach Scott a lesson and goes all out against the debutante. Scott staggers and struggles for a couple of rounds before landing a few kicks and punches of his own. Barely in the match after a few rounds, he earns Dietrich’s respect for persisting. At the end going on pure will & adrenaline, Scott lifts and smashes the experience fighter onto the mat knocking him out and winning the fight. As the crowd goes wild, Scott’s team celebrates with him. Scott gets $50,000 for his victory, and saves the music program at his school. As the movie ends, Niko and the rest of the ll the students of the citizenship class become American citizens. Scott is shown enjoying the music being played in the school.
Whatdaya think? Cheesy, corny, predictable as hell? Yes but the MMA factor does make it stand out from the crowd and I felt that Kevin James deserves a lot of credit for making it real. A good afternoon’s watch 7 outta 10!