Here Comes the Boom (2012)

<strong class="MovieTitle">Here Comes the Boom</strong> (2012)

(On Cable TV, June 2018) As a first glance, there isn’t much to Here Comes the Boom than your usual guy comedy from the Happy Madison assembly chain: What if a high-school teacher discovered a talent for Mixed Martial Arts (MMA)? Pretty much everything in the movie seems assembled according to a formula, and there are very few surprises along the way of this underdog sports comedy. Kevin James does have some charm, and it goes a long way in keeping the film afloat then the rest of it is so ordinary. This being said, there’s some thematic material worth pondering once you go back to the idea that Happy Madison films are based on fulfilling contemporary suburban male power fantasies. How about this: What if you found a way to help your friends, get the girl, contribute to the arts, vex your nemesis, inspire the younger generation and make money while punching someone? You really don’t have to look any farther to understand the film’s appeal for its target audience, and once you factor in that the film is competently made to achieve that storytelling objective, then you understand Here Comes the Boom. Seeing Henry Winkler in a solid supporting role isn’t a bad bonus, even though Salma Hayek is wasted as one of James’s increasingly unlikely string of on-screen love interests. Less familiar actors include a number of MMA stars, of which Bas Rutten does best in a supporting role—plus Joe Rogan appearing as himself. Otherwise, the film does feel on autopilot … which may count as a plus if viewers are indeed looking for nothing more than a slight comedy.

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