Cinematic Magic with Ellen Bialik: ‘Here Comes the Boom’ is more of a bust

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Although it plays off of a heartwarming subject, “Here Comes the Boom” leaves much to be desired in terms of dialogue, character development, acting and general storyline.

I was excited to see this movie because the trailer seemed quirky yet funny and still gave off a good message; however, the whole thing was kind of a snooze fest. The only moment that had me on the edge of my seat came at the very end. In fact, it was one of the last scenes of the entire movie. And nothing sucks quite like having to sit through 90 minutes of blah performances and plot just to get that 15 minutes of satisfaction.

Because of this, I just wouldn’t feel right recommending that anyone spend money to see this film. So, here’s the whole story, in a nutshell.

Kevin James plays Scott Voss, a 40-something high school biology teacher with a habit of shirking responsibility. Even though he tends to show up late to his own classes, chill out at his desk instead of actually leading the class, and generally take the easy way out of any given situation, there is something redeeming about him. Hard to believe, right? And yet, we soon realize that Scott is simply a man who has yet to realize just how much he cares about his students and their futures.

One fateful afternoon, when the principal announces that the school will be cutting all arts programs due to a lack of funding (which would then leave a fellow teacher without a job), Scott steps up and suggests that the school staff raise the money themselves. The other teachers meet this suggestion with silence and downturned eyes because it’s just too ridiculous an idea to fathom. There goes Scott Voss again, playing at his usual shenanigans and trying to help out the students by making the school a better place. Poppycock!

At first, Scott tries to make some extra cash by teaching night school, but it just isn’t enough. Then, he decides to try his hand at fighting mixed martial arts to make some bigger bucks. At first, with only the pacifistic Henry Winkler to help him, Scott loses fight after fight.

However, even this is enough to start raking in hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars per fight. Soon, he gets himself a trainer and then begins to develop his skills and techniques, which leads to less embarrassing losses in the ring as well as, dare I say it, even a few wins.

Not only does this new-found transformation affect his physical fighting ability, but it also recharges him mentally and emotionally. Suddenly, he is overcome with the desire to inspire his students and is filled with a passion that he hasn’t felt in years. And it works. The students are all inspired by their teacher and even come to his final match to support him.

By the time the “final match” comes around, Scott and a few of the other teachers have raised somewhere in the ballpark of $40 grand. They only need a few thousand more dollars to reach their goal and a loss from Scott in a professional match against one of the best MMA fighters in the business (what crazy coincidental circumstances!) will net him a cool $10,000. Easy job, right? Wrong! Because, as luck would have it, one of the members of the school board has been laundering money and everything that Scott has raised is suddenly gone.

This means that in order to save the school, Scott would have to beat impossible odds by winning the match and the grand prize of $50,000. Can he do it?

It seems radically inconceivable. And yet, with all of his students and fellow teachers watching and supporting him and a tender inspirational speech from the Fonz himself, Scott has all he needs to win the fight.

And he does. In a scene that finally delivers, Scott endures bruises and broken bones (and probably a concussion or two) and finds the strength to strike back and defeat his opponent—a professional fighter with a vicious reputation. Who would’ve guessed it?

The film ends with Scott back at school after all is said and done. Everyone appreciates him for what he has done not only for the school and the teachers, but also for the students.

In a nutshell, a disappointingly adequate movie. Predictable, cliché and corny. It has its comedic moments, but nothing that will have you laughing so hard that soda comes shooting out of your nose.

Overall, 1 1/2 out of 5 Matt Damons. Unless you’re a die-hard Kevin James fan, there’s really no reason to go see it in theaters. But, if you can find it online, I would definitely recommend that you check out the final fight scene. It’s pretty cool.


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