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“Here Comes The Boom” – Early Review (SO-SO POSITIVE)

October 11, 2012

What is to be expected by a Kevin James starring vehicle produced by the ass-clown Adam Sandler, and his company Happy Madison Productions? I see stupid, fart, vomit, and poopy nonsense jokes that spread out as a cluster-fuck of who-gives-a-shit-isms ALL across the board. Having said that, James and “Wedding Singer” director Frank Coraci bring a movie that’s barely even close to what I said, except the vomit part, but that was actually kind of amusing. No, to my surprise the movie actually works on few levels, but it’s really Kevin James…endearing performance that won me over. SHOCKER!

Scott Voss (James) was a former collegiate wrestler, now a 42-year-old uninterested biology teacher in a failing high school, there’s not much going for Mr. Voss. When deficit cutbacks threaten to cancel the music program and lay off its passionate teacher (Henry Winkler,) Scott begins to raise money by moonlighting as an MMA fighter. Everyone thinks Scott is crazy, even the school nurse, Bella (Salma Hayek) but in his quest, Scott gains something he never expected as he becomes a sensation that rallies the entire school; a hero to all the kids and teachers.

Like I said, to the films credit, Kevin James is actually really good here, his performance is far from over the top like his previous outings, he’s extremely talented with the physical slap-stick, and what else can I say except, he play a likeable character. Even the supporting players here are doing well, Winkler and ex-MMA fighter Bas Rutten share some sidesplitting scenes together. “Here Comes the Boom” is that rare occasion where a Happy Madison Production has a cast that in point of fact works, being this is the second movie from them to do so, and I’m beside myself.

Of course the story; it treads on “Rocky” & “Warrior” territory. The “Boom” borrows elements/clichés from both of those films in every department. Does it get away with it? Not 100%, but it does make do with what it’s trying to offer, it’s a family film, and a comedy, it’s not a satire, but it doesn’t negate the fact to mildly satirize a dash of “Rocky”. It’s far from original, but again that’s not why you’re seeing the movie, if in fact you are seeing it, you’re seeing it for Kevin James. The jokes do tend to be extremely forced in a lot of Sandler’s produced films, however, “Boom” makes the right choice and not go over the top. There’s one scene where Voss vomits, one scene of gross out humor, and that’s it, that’s the highest the bar goes in the extreme over the top Adam Sandler comedy department.

James lends a hand in the screenplay, and it shows. For me, coming from a fan of “King of Queens”, this was definitely his movie. He even sneaks in his real-life older brother Gary Valentine in the movie, and they share some of the best scenes in the movie. James’ approach is the less is more approach, which works for him, his lines fluently come out naturally and he knows when to tug on the heart string when the time calls for it. “Here Comes the Boom” is NOT the best comedy of 2012, but it’s one of the BIGGEST surprises of the year, coming from a low-expectations point-of-view. 


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