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Here Comes the Boom

MPA Rating: PG-Rating (MPA) for bouts of MMA sports violence, some rude humor and language.

Reviewed by: Curtis McParland

Better than Average
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Family Teens Adults
Action Comedy
1 hr. 45 min.
Year of Release:
USA Release:
October 12, 2012 (wide)
DVD: February 5, 2013
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Relevant Issues
Copyright, Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures

a financially failing high school

mixed martial arts fighter

Featuring Salma HayekBella Flores
Kevin JamesScott Voss
Reggie Lee … Mr. De La Cruz
Melissa Peterman … Lauren Voss
Henry Winkler … Marty
Greg Paul … Dock Fight Judge
See all »
Director Frank Coraci—“Click,” “The Wedding Singer,” “The Waterboy
Producer Broken Road Productions
Columbia Pictures
Happy Madison Productions
See all »
Distributor Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures

“No one will fight for his students like Mr. Voss.”

Things just aren’t going to well for high school biology teacher Scott Voss (Kevin James). He works at a failing high school, his co-worker Bella (Salma Hayek) keeps rejecting him for a date, and his friend Marty’s (Henry Winkler) music program is about to be shut down by the school due to budget cuts. But Scott pushes his first two problems out of his way in order to help save the school’s music program, but most importantly, Marty’s job.

Along the way, Scott, Marty, and even Bella try to find ways to help save the music program, but can’t come up with a way to raise enough funds by the end of the school year: until Scott discovers that mixed martial arts fighting will be the fastest (but most painful) way to raise enough money in time. Through painstaking fights and hardcore training sessions Scott builds a stronger friendship with Marty and Bella and learns to fight for what he believes in (no pun intended).

“Here Comes the Boom” has a lot of great messages on display here: the true meaning of friendship, self-sacrifice, and dedication to support a worthy cause. However, this film still has its moments of light suggestive and crude humor, along with some mild language. The content of the film is listed below:

Sexual Content: In the MMA fighting world, nearly every fighter goes shirtless and wears shorts—some even boxers. In one scene, one of Scott’s opponents rips off his pants in front of a crowd of girls, revealing a very short and tight pair of green boxers. There is a light fertility joke made after an older man says that his wife is pregnant. We also see a partially nude picture of Marty with a tuba covering just enough of his private area (his thighs and chest are exposed, and the picture is only shown briefly). A man invites a woman over to his apartment to have dinner, and it later turns into a “friendly” wrestling match with her punching him and wrestling him to the ground. Bella also wears a few low cut tops in the film. We see a couple kiss, as well.

Crude and Profane Language: The language is a lot milder than I thought it would be, with the word “freakin’” used twice, s*cks about two or three times, h*ll and cr*p both used once, and the a-word about three times total. In one scene, it was hard to tell if a character was abusing Jesus’ name, blurting out “jeez”, or yelling for a fighter to make a move in the ring. Some viewers may also hear a subtle abuse of God’s name two or three times (hard to hear due to the crowds watching the fights). There is also some light name calling.

Violence: The MMA world is pretty violent, but fortunately, for viewers, most of the violence is bloodless, until the last few fights in the film. Scott receives numerous shots to the face, mid-section, and groin and gets thrown around numerous times while getting slammed into the sides of a cage. We see him bandaged up and bruised on quite a few occasions. There are at least half a dozen fight scenes. In one scene, Scott’s shoulder is dislocated, and Bella helps him relocate it. The scene is played for laughs, but we see him screaming in pain while she pulls on his arm. In another scene, Scott is forced to fight three guys at the same time for practice, and the end result isn’t pretty. Luckily for him, he has some padding on.

Drugs and Alcohol: In one scene, a few characters are seen drinking beer.

Negative Elements: The only gross out gag in the entire movie happens after one of Scott’s fights. He walks over to his opponent in an act of good sportsmanship, but, instead, vomits all over him—not once, but twice. We later see one of Scott’s students showing him the video after it went viral on YouTube. A couple of characters also bet on a fight. The film has its moments of characters telling lies, and a character is also found guilty of embezzlement. A husband and wife have a couple of arguments around their kids, but the scenes are mainly played for laughs. There is also one scene of a group doing some yoga/meditation in a fitness class, and a Buddha is present (very brief). Parents may also want to note that many of the fighters have numerous tattoos.

Positive Elements: The pros definitely weigh out the cons in this action comedy. Like I mentioned above, Scott displays great self-sacrifice in the film by putting his own troubles aside and helping save Marty’s job. He also takes time out of his own schedule to help students in the U.S. Citizenship class he’s teaching and also comes to the aid of his biology class students. Scott always displays great sportsmanship, whether he wins or loses a fight, and, later on in the film, he and his group say a prayer before one of them (we see their bowed heads and then hear an amen). Also, one of the MMA coaches makes a quote from Genesis 32:24: “And Jacob was left alone. And a man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day.”

From a filmmaking perspective, “Here Comes the Boom” isn’t anything new or fresh, but Kevin James’ lead role and Frank Coraci’s solid direction keep this action comedy afloat, despite some of the corny humor and weak moments of dialog. The fight sequences are well put together, and the story still has a pretty good flow from start to finish, without going off track. There is always something on display to keep the viewer’s attention.

“Here Comes the Boom” could probably be seen as a sequel to “Paul Blart: Mall Cop” by most Kevin James fans. They both have a very similar premise, and the humor in both films sure has its slapstick moments along with the mild suggestive humor. However, I saw more redemptive qualities in “Here Comes Boom”. John 15:13 (ESV) is a great verse to keep in mind while watching this film: “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.”

There are also two great verses from the book of Proverbs: 18:24 says that “A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” And 27:6 says “Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy.” Scott displays true friendship by helping Marty raise the money for the school’s music program; hit by hit, blow by blow. Scott’s act of courage isn’t for his own good or even to impress Bella. It is to help a friend in need. His one act of courage to take a stand, not only attempted to help save the music program but made an impact on the entire school and community in the process.

“Here Comes the Boom” may be the perfect movie for a father/son movie night. With its themes of friendship, self-sacrifice, and never giving up, you really can’t go wrong. The moments of violence may be intense for some viewers, so I would recommend it with caution for ages 10-11 and up. The suggestive humor is light and subtle, and the script is marred with only a few mild profanities. Crude humor is limited to one scene, and drugs and alcohol are not of serious concern. “Boom” may pack a punch in some areas, but, overall, it has a heart, and that is something it should be commended for.

Violence: Moderate / Profanity: Mild / Sex/Nudity: Mild

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.

Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Positive—Finally someone in Hollywood got it. It is possible to make a family movie that is funny, well made, well acted, and have it all come together successfully. “Here Comes the Boom” is that film. I love Kevin James, as well as respect Henry Winkler, and having them together in a PG film was an immediate draw. This movie was actually funny because it was well written/acted, it was completely entertaining, and did not have to resort to cheap adult humor disguised as kids’ humor, to carry it off. Each actor in this film added to it, and it all came together the way successful films of the past used to—by good directing, acting and writing. Many thanks to the director and producer for not making this just another cheap movie by adding farting, burping, etc. To draw a laugh, but by actually taking the time to develop the story and characters.

This film is what it was intended to be, just a funny film that is not trying to win an Oscar nomination, but is trying to entertain. It succeeded. I highly recommend this film and truly hope that we will see more like it.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 4½
Mariella M., age over 40 (USA)
Positive—…a fun movie with many redeeming acts portrayed along with a realistic balance of how generally our society has become narcissistic and selfish rather than self-sacrificing. Kevin’s brother is encouraged at one point to pursue his dreams / passions rather than just do what is in front of him (carrying on the family business even though he has no passion for it) and it is realized in moving to chef at a restaurant for another character in the movie who is challenged by Kevin when he seeks to apply pressure via the school principal for encouraging the daughter of the man to not give up music.

The scene where Genesis is discussed was not forced or phony, but well played, and there are no “impossible” flights of fancy in any of the story, just hard work for others and what is right. Really, there are many positive elements in this movie and I give it a Big thumbs up!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 4½
Jay, age 52 (USA)
Positive—I’ll be honest. I haven’t seen a lot of films with Kevin James in them. Sometimes the movies he’s in can be a little suggestive. It was nice to see him in a family-friendly movie and as a very positive role model in “Here Comes the Boom.” I thought this movie was pretty decent. The acting was pretty good, with Kevin James leading the way in terms of the performances. Henry Winkler was also pretty funny in this movie. What was nice about this film is that even though some of the content may not be for children (like the violence), a lot of it WAS appropriate for older children.

Let’s not forget to mention that there was a great message of courage, and, in essence, selflessness. That’s not the “norm” for some of today’s “family-friendly movies,” so it was nice that the worst content was some alcohol, a minor kiss, some violence and one gross-out scene, as Mr. McParland stated. Sure the material may not be new or inventive, but the message was clear, strong, and full of heart. Even Christianity was promoted in a positive manner. In short, I recommend this film for older children, as the reviewer stated, and I give it three and half stars for its positive story and moviemaking quality.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 3½
Alexander Malsan, age 22 (USA)
Positive—Saw this movie last night with my husband and two daughters (ages 12 and 14). We all enjoyed this movie. It had heart and action and kept us all engaged throughout. I was very pleased that foul language and sexual innuendos were absent from this film. The violence was on the level of the Karate Kid. The biblical quote and prayers were a nice touch, although there wasn’t any story line or dialog to make a connection between God’s Word and speaking to God through prayer, and how one lives their life. So, it’s almost as if the makers of this film put it in there to give Christians a “oh, that was nice”… which was exactly my reaction.

My husband commented… “you don’t see too many movies like this any more.” Too bad. There were only a few people in the theater watching this movie while the “R” rated movies seemed to be packed. I recommend this movie for age 12 and up.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
Clara, age 53 (USA)
Positive—I was pleasantly surprised by a Christian/Biblical reference in one scene. At a fight, the team is also seen praying beforehand. Besides the fact that there is fighting, which was mild considering what is out there, it was a good family movie. I found nothing offensive and was entertained. Kevin James got in shape for this one. I would recommend this movie.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 4
Gloria, age 46 (USA)
Positive—We went to see this on opening night. Family of five, children 15, 13 and 10. Coming out of the theater we all agreed it was a good film. The language in the film is great. No swearing and for the most part not rude. There were a couple references to body parts, but infrequent; I think three times. As can be expected with a movie about Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) there is violence with a little bit of blood. There is a dinner scene that quotes scripture and discusses Genesis and prior to the final match the main characters gather for prayer. It was genuine and sincere, not in a mocking manner.

There are some wonderfully silly scenes of the slapstick genre, as can be expected in a movie about a middle aged man trying to learn how to fight. There is a vomiting scene, which made the theater laugh and groan at the same time. Everyone one of us had a different favorite part; showing the ability to entertain at all levels. The previews are not the best parts and the film has enough substance to keep it entertaining for adults and visuals for the children. I hope you find this review of help.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
Michel Van M, age 50 (USA)
Positive—wow, I struggled in giving this the proper ratings… why? Because I will admit, I *was* entertained; my husband and I both enjoyed this clean movie… similar to a “Rocky” ending, and he certainly was not doing this for himself. As said, the language in it was clean. The part that bothered me the most is ~ through his compassionate, puppy-dog eyes, Kevin Jame’s character LIES in it constantly—making up stories as he goes—to try to get a date or whatever he wants. I suppose this is the *norm* for today. In some ways, it could be compared to “soft” lying (is there such a thing?), as in “I Love Lucy” ~ we all loved that clean show, yet remember: she would lie on a whim, constantly, for cover-ups, or to get what she wanted…

Well, in real life, even if lying is the norm, just keep in mind: (this is not coming from me, but from God’s Word!) that liars go to the eternal fires! (Revelation 21:8; 22:15) Anyway, definitely “food for thought” because judgment day in front of GOD *is* coming!

Though I struggled with the ratings, I still give it a “better than average” ~ considering what ARE the AVERAGE movies of *today*~?? Fun to watch and enjoy a 2 hour break from an overwhelming, hectic life ~ let’s just remember to not copy the behavior. As Christians, we desire to live our lives pleasing to the Lord.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
R.J., age 53 (USA)
Positive—Great, entertaining movie with a positive message about helping others, putting others and their needs ahead of yours and never giving up when it comes to doing what is right. There were positive portrayals of prayer and even a place where they share the story of Jacob wrestling with God in the correct context as intended in the Bible. There were positive friendships that developed that showed the importance of being there for each other no matter what. Funny gags and slapstick expected for Kevin James, very well done without being overdone. I’d say, put your money behind this one. Money speaks very loudly in Hollywood. Bring on more like this, please!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
Sarah S., age 39 (USA)
Positive—I saw this film with my wife last night. Unfortunately there were only four other people in the large theatre. This film, unlike other Kevin James films, covered so many different areas. Almost everything in the film had a meaningful purpose to it. A point is made about the proper way to ask a woman on a date. Immigrants are shown in a very positive light. A student teaching an adult citizenship is used. Men cooking for themselves and their families as well as a late-in-life pregnancy are shown in a positive light. And finally the main character DIDN'T have a hidden agenda, which is the usual theme (bad intentioned person does good and his actual bad intentions are revealed, and he is forgiven). There are many other transformations in the film.

It was nice to see a different film that we didn’t walk away from with regrets. There is a benign reference to the Amish in the film. There were two light references to homosexuality with Henry Winkler rubbing Kevin James back and when Winkler remarks that James looks as good coming as he does going, while being carried up bleachers for exercise. Overall, the movie is worth seeing and possibly worth buying. All of the messages are appropriately positive. My 22 year old daughter said she would watch it over and over.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 4
David, age 50 (USA)
Positive—GREAT movie! Very funny and an awesome message. I was pleasantly surprised the few times scriptures were mentioned, and they prayed before his big fight. Sure, there was violence, but that was expected. You root on the whole underdog though, and his cause. Little violent for young children, but a great message for the older ones to talk to about.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
Samantha, age 38 (USA)
Positive—Pleasantly surprised how clean the movie was. Kevin James is hilarious once again!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 4
Abe, age 53 (Canada)
Positive—Remember “Nacho Libre” (if not read the review in Christian Answers), where Jack Black is a friar who went to the wrestling match to raise money for the orphans; “Here comes the Boom” follows the same footsteps, and made into a great uplifting movie. When the school had to cut all the extra curricular activities due to budget cuts, the music programme also came into the line of the axe. To save the music class, the biology teacher Scott Voss (Kevin James) decided to raise funds, not only to save his best friend’s job but he also believed in the line “without music life would be a mistake.” He desperately looks for funds but eventually turns into MMA fighting, but without any intention in winning, as the looser gets one fifth of the prize money.

Eventually his outlook on life and motivations changed positively with a redemptive quality, as he became a better man, a better teacher and a better fighter. Kevin James said to Christian Post about his movies and his Christian perspective, “My faith helps me in everything, it shapes me, and I always try to glorify God in movies.” Regarding the negative elements his words again, “We all make mistakes, and if I played an angel every time I’d be out of the business. There are faulted people, and there is good and evil.”

It’s an inspiring movie, with biblical references of Jacob winning the respect of God, as the MMA coach quotes the Bible and interprets it, also before the fight Scott and his team pray for the Lord’s help. One of his early fights, to the team’s initial dismay, when the opponent of Scott steals the song, “here comes the boom”, the music teacher choose his best alternative, “gospel music.” Both “Nacho Libre” and “Here Comes the Boom” are inspired by the real life Rev. Sergio Gutiérrez Benítez, a priest who had a wrestling career spanning more than two decades as a masked fighter, to help orphans and schools. Considering “Here comes the boom” is inspired by “Nacho Libre.”
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 5
Cyril Thomas, age 32 (United Kingdom)
Positive—I enjoyed this movie and found it very funny. Couple of words I heard was a- and h-word. Other than that, I tip my hat to all who was involved in creating this film. Job well done!!!…
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
Sharon, age 36 (USA)
Positive—Took the family to see this movie, and we really enjoyed it! It was relatively clean. It had some funny parts in it, and it was nice to see a movie that wasn’t packed full of sensuality, over-the-top violence and swearing.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 3½
Jason, age 38 (USA)
Positive—It was so refreshing to see an inspirational movie without offensive language. I knew they could make a movie and still get their point across without it. It is so hard to find a movie like that. Thank you to whomever made that decision. It was wonderful!!!…
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 5
Deb, age 57 (USA)
Positive—I just sat down and watched this with my son. I enjoyed the movie. In my own way, I would see that Kevin James portrayed a man who rejected being passive, took on a responsibility, and persevered to the end. He faced major adversity, but never quit—the same thing all men are to do.

Ladies, if you do not have a boyfriend or husband like that, you got the wrong man. Yes, there was scripture reference used, prayer, and thanksgiving present in film. …

Their are a few semi-nude slash scenes some call eye candy. SO be aware, if you are worried, watch it before you let a kid watch it.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 4
Kevin Bolt, age 40 (USA)
Negative—Knowing I’d be chaperoning a birthday party for a group of Christian kids who would be seeing this movie, I came to this Web site to check the reviews. After reading all the positive and glowing comments, including the mention of Bible references, I was anticipating something on the level of “Rocky” or “Courageous.” What I was subjected to, however, was one of the most inane and crude movies I have seen in a long time. I’d guess the target audience was seven-year-old boys who like potty humor, and it was PG, but the content was so insulting that I wouldn’t recommend it for anyone. The level of disrespect the characters had for one another was extreme. Constant insults and backtalk shouted between employee/boss, friend/friend, teacher/parent, husband/wife, all for the sake of a cheap laugh.

One particular exchange between a husband and wife was so rude it made a mom, next to me, gasp. The main character was obnoxious and lied from beginning to end, the music teacher was a doddering old man, the principal was harsh, the class of immigrants seeking citizenship were goofy laughing stocks. The level of coarse humor was very high, with too many crotch jokes to count, including one where a woman was about to put her foot there. A man gratuitously vomits twice on another man. A yoga instructor points out a class member’s butt crack to someone and laughs mockingly. What the h*ll and kick a** were shouted in peoples” faces. The main character repeatedly tries to get a woman to go out with him, but not in a nice “go out to dinner” kind of way, rather with a creepy “come to my apartment.”

One commenter mentioned a woman’s low cut top—actually when she climbed on top of a man, everyone could clearly see down her shirt several times as she jiggled right in his face. The level of violence was also high. I know this was a “martial arts” movie, but they didn’t handle it in a classy “Rocky” style, but a constant Smash Smash Smash right-in-your-face violence, for the sake of violence.

As for moviemaking quality, it was so disjointed, with multiple plot holes, that I was distracted. Content was dropped into place without context that I couldn’t tell what the relationships were between some characters, or why people acted so randomly in some scenes. How did the main character go from being Teacher of the Year just ten years ago, to the apathetic slacker he is today? No one knows. The music program is out of funds, yet 60 kids… well, it’s a spoiler, but let’s just say it would have cost A Lot of Money to do what they did.

As for Christian content, yes, there was a Bible reference, and a prayer, but both were disconnected to the balance of the film and seemed like superficial “foxhole” moments to me. Several characters were portrayed as having had a “change of heart” between beginning and end, but the process was hollow and unconvincing. I guess the message of this movie was supposed to be the main character learning to get past his own selfishness and do something heroic for the sake of another, but it happened so late in the movie and was overwhelmed by what surrounded it, that I felt the message was a stretch.

There was so much good that could have been done with this movie, so many solid learning experiences the characters could have had, but they were dropped, leaving it shallow and implausible. Our theater only had a handful of people in it, and I was glad. I spent the entire time cringing and hoping the kids would forget the film the moment they walked out the doors. If you’re looking for comedy and honor and quality, invite everyone to your house and watch “Courageous” or “Facing the Giants” instead.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3
Erica, age 49 (USA)

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