There are movies I go to because they are the blockbusters of the week – huge stars, huge budgets and the trailers have been haunting me for months (if not years – ahem – Avengers). There are movies I go to because they have an Oscar buzz brewing around them – the critics love it, the actors themselves claim to be forever changed by their performance, and the director has never steered me wrong before. Then there are the movies that are just plain old-fashioned good movies – a good time, laughs, entertainment and simple. What’s unfortunate for me is that I tend to miss out on the last type of movie until it reaches Netflix; I’m too distracted by everything else being thrown at me from Hollywood. Thankfully, this week that was not this case. This weekend I got the opportunity to see an advanced screening of Here Come the Boom.
Maybe you’ve seen the trailer for Here Comes the Boom with Kevin James playing a biology teacher who strives to save the music program of his school by fighting MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) professionally and thought to yourself, as I did, “Ha. Ha. Cute…. I’ll have to put that on my Instant Queue when it comes out. A good laugh, but I can’t pay movie prices to go see it.” Here’s the kicker: pay the money, it’s worth every cent.
Do you remember the first time you saw Rocky and you were punching and wincing along with every hit Balboa gave and took? Here Comes the Boom delivers that same type of excitement paired with a feel-good romantic comedy storyline packaged inside an inspirational teacher-flick. Kevin James has called the movie an “inspirational comedy”: that’s the perfect description. Here Comes the Boom is the rare film that is a perfect date movie, family movie or night out with your friends. .
Just watching this crazy guy with these knee-high boots doing the splits after knocking people out. When he actually came and fought in the UFC in America, we said how cool would it be to actually get to know this guy and maybe even train with him? And that’s exactly what happened.
Of course, if you are going to make a movie with real-life MMA fighters and you are going to get in the ring, chances are, you’re going to get hit!
I got to be honest, I got punched a lot [...] I wanted the fight scenes to be sloppy with me in there, I didn’t want it all (to be about) technique. It’s not like that in a fight. You’re plans kind of go awry, you’re getting thrown around, out of breath, not in the same position. (And because of that) I definitely got my fair share of getting punched in the face.
As a viewer, I have to say, it looked like it hurt… a lot. However, it also looked authentic. When you watch Here Comes the Boom, for a portion of the time you will swear you are watching a UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) pay-per-view event! And, at the same time, you’ll see where the passion for the sport lies.
I want to make sure, however, that you don’t get the impression that this movie is “just” about MMA. This is a movie about a burnt-out teacher (what we used to call a “malcontent” in my old school) who takes a stand for a meek colleague in a move that is completely out of character for him. This movie is inspirational by showing us how taking the steps to help others can completely transform our own personal world for the better.
Kevin James’ character is likable and believable. His romantic connection to Salma Hayek is well-developed and nicely paced. Henry Winkler does an incredible job of playing James’ colleague in need. Every character in the film has their own back story, so that their lives do not just hinge upon the progress of James’ storyline.
Here’s the deal: treat yourself to Here Comes the Boom this weekend, when it opens on October 12th, and bring someone who you like to spend time with. You’ll step out of the theater with a smile on your face and a warm fuzzy feeling in your heart. You will be inspired by the end of it, and even if your just inspired to have a good time, is there anything wrong with that?