Not being a Twilight fan myself it meant that there was very little to pick between regarding movie choices for our cinema trip this weekend. Each year when Twilight is released it takes over cinemas leaving very little else on. It also doesn't help that we have seen the few films that remain playing alongside it, which meant Twilight was considered as a film to watch; however there was a little film starring Kevin James that I thought would be perfect for getting away from the 'twi-fans'. This film was Here Comes The Boom that is your very typical Kevin James movie where he plays a down on his luck loser and through a crazy source turns out to be a man full of morals and inspires loads of people. It sounds everything I dislike in a movie but seemed ideal for the weekend where I wanted to avoid screaming teenage girls. I have to say it was not perfect. Here Comes The Boom basically reiterated everything I dislike about these types of film. They're corny, unbelievable, daft, and not as funny as what they possibly could be. My partner thought it was hilarious so perhaps it was my preconception of the film that tainted my vision, who knows? All I know is that this is just a typical comedy film that was so old school I had seen it a hundred times before.
Kevin James stars as a biology teacher, Scott Voss, who has lost all enthusiasm for the job. Ten years ago he was voted teacher of the year and he still tries to live off that achievement. His class dislike him as do his colleagues. He is a teacher who openly admits everything they learn is unnecessary. His one friend among the teachers, Marty (Henry Winkler), is a music teacher who is fantastic at his job and has produced some wonderful talent; however he is told his job is to be cut due to budgeting issues. After hearing Marty's wife is pregnant (a ridiculous sub plot considering the guy is in his sixties), Scott vows to help raise the money to keep the class funded. To start, Scott takes on a job teaching immigrants how to pass the citizenship test and upon doing this meets a man who was once a Mixed Martial Arts cage fighter. Whilst watching a fight with him one evening Scott learns that even if you lose a big fight you will be paid ten thousand dollars so Scott decides to take it up. His immigrant friend Niko and Marty help Scott on his journey from fighting back stage with no holds barred to pushing himself to fight against one of the best fighters alive. Not all teachers can show this much passion about their school.
The idea is very simple so it isn't a film you have to take your thinking cap to. Instead it is just a film of a bumbling idiot being beaten the hell out of for sixty minutes and somehow managing to get a top billed televised fight. These are my sort of issues with these films. The way they turn out is ridiculous. They're unbelievable, corny, and have little relevance to the real world. I understand not all films are real but at least the writer and director make me believe in their world. Here I never believed anything that went on as it all seemed silly. In all fairness the world wasn't ridiculous enough to make the film work. In my eyes if they had made it sillier it could have been better.
The best laughs come from the fight scenes, which is the areas I would have highlighted if I made this film. What I wanted to see was fat Kevin James fighting other fat useless people who don't belong in the ring. The one time this happens in a rain soaked fight it is funny but the film then starts to take itself too seriously. By taking the mick out of the world it could have been hilarious but all too quickly Scott was thrust against fighters doing it their entire life and he was beating them. It was ridiculous. Yeah it showed he had heart, courage, passion but this needed to be a film that stayed silly in order for us to like it. This is why Winkler is good in this film and the funniest. His character is daft and we can believe it but I can't believe a useless school teacher goes from climbing in the school window late for class to a MMA Champion in a semester. For me it took the wrong direction.
It does have one or two moments, one being when Marty forgets the stool for the breaks inbetween rounds so he ends up on all fours posing as a bench, and the film really would have benefited from more of these. Unfortunately they are few and far between. People did laugh out loud in the cinema but for a top billed comedy starring Kevin James I expected to laugh more. I don't mind Kevin James, although feel he has never hit top form since King Of Queens or Hitch. I actually think he has come to play the same character in every other film he has done. The potential for this to work could have been there and it was lost at the very first progress of development. We saw a tight and tense MMA film last year in Warrior so we should have seen a ridiculously silly MMA film here that could have been the polar opposite. Instead with it taking itself too seriously it just brings out similarities to Warrior which is a far, far superior film in every respect. These are connections I shouldn't be making and if the development of Here Comes The Boom had gone a different route then I wouldn't be making them. In the end we have Kevin James starring in an Adam Sandler movie without Adam Sandler in it.
Pros: One or two laughs especially from Henry Winkler.
Cons: Too generic and (in case I haven't said it enough) took itself way too seriously.
4 / 10
Top 10 of 2012 so far:
1. The Dark Knight Rises 10 / 10
2. Argo 9 / 10
3. Skyfall 8.5 / 10
4. The Hunger Games 8 / 10
5. Snow White And The Huntsman 8 / 10
6. Avengers Assemble 7.5 / 10
7. Looper 7.5 / 10
8. Ted 7.5 / 10
9. 21 Jump Street 7.5 / 10
10. Lawless 7 / 10