Reviewed by: Curtis McParland
a financially failing high school
mixed martial arts fighter
Salma Hayek … Bella Flores
Kevin James … Scott Voss
Reggie Lee … Mr. De La Cruz
Melissa Peterman … Lauren Voss
Henry Winkler … Marty
Greg Paul … Dock Fight Judge
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|Director||Frank Coraci—“Click,” “The Wedding Singer,” “The Waterboy”|
Broken Road Productions
Happy Madison Productions
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|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.