Scott Voss (Kevin James) was teacher of the year. Ten years ago. Now he can’t make it to school on time and what he does can’t really be called teaching. Principal Becher (Greg Germann) is less than pleased with Scott’s current performance. Due to budget issues, one of the first programs to be cut is music. The kids in the music program will be left with little enrichment in their lives. When Scott finds out Marty (Henry Winkler), the music teacher, may lose his job if the music program is cut, and Marty’s wife is pregnant, he decides he can’t let that happen.
When the rest of the teachers don’t jump in to help, Scott has to come up with a plan on his own. After brainstorming with his unhappily married brother Eric (Gary Valentine), he finds his calling. He finds out that the guys who lose UFC matches get $10,000 per match. To lose! Scott decides he can do this. Scott trains with one of his citizenship students, Niko (Bas Rutten). With Niko and Marty in his corner, he can’t win…er, lose.
Scott comes to find out that the entry-level fights are a lot less glamorous, and lucrative, than the UFC fights he watched. Nonetheless, he proceeds. And he exceeds at losing. He is slowly building up the $48,000 he needs to save the music program and Marty’s job. But can he raise enough money to save the program?
I know what you’re thinking. “Another movie about an arts program getting cut? Another movie about a formerly great teacher trying to redeem himself?” And the next thought is, “Another Kevin James movie? Really? And he wrote it, too?” I know because those are the same thoughts that went through my head.
I was pleasantly surprised. I might even go so far as to say I was shocked. The story was remarkably well done. Not what I expected from a Kevin James vehicle. This is no Paul Blart: Mall Cop. This movie actually has heart. (Yes, I realize that is said about most movies where some arts program is going to be axed, leaving the kids involved in a lurch.)
It is a bit unbelievable that someone like Kevin James would ever have a shot with a Salma Hayek. But it works. And Henry Winkler, well, he’s Henry Winkler. I don’t think there’s much this guy can do wrong. The chemistry of the cast works. Quite well, I might add.
Sure, it has its cheesy moments. Sure, it is a little predictable. But all of that can easily be overlooked. Scott’s determination, and his drive to not disappoint the children depending on him keep the movie moving forward. And I laughed. And laughed. I think I laughed for the majority of the film. The jokes all clicked. They didn’t feel forced. Honestly, I have more respect for Mr. James after this one.
The kids will love Here Comes the Boom. Not knowing much about the movie going in to it, I wasn’t sure if it was kid-appropriate. I would venture to say they are the target audience. At one point, my 12-year-old was actually cheering. Out loud. Something I don’t know that I’ve seen her do at a movie.
If you’ve got a free night, check this one out. And take your kids. None of you will be disappointed.