Let me just start by saying "Here Comes the Boom" is a very weird movie, and that's why it's good.
Happy Madison Productions (Adam Sandler's movie company) and director Frank Coraci ("Water Boy" and "The Wedding Singer") have given us the story of Scott Voss (Kevin James), a biology teacher who has lost the passion to teach and inspire and now just sits on his desk reading the newspaper during class and frequently hits on the lovely school nurse Bella Flores (Salma Hayek) only to get frequently turned down.
The school has to make cutbacks and forces the one teacher in the school with the most passion, music teacher Marty Streb (Henry Winkler, "The Fonz" No, I'm not kidding – Fonzie is in this and that by itself deserves major props), to lose his job, and the music department is closed down. Voss stands up and vows to get the $50,000 needed to keep the department and save Streb's job.
Voss gets a second job teaching immigrants to help them pass the U.S. citizenship exam, and he meets Nikko, a Holland native who is a former mixed martial arts competitor. Voss then realizes MMA fighters get paid large amounts of money win or lose, and the comedy ensues.
"Here Comes the Boom" is three things: 1) a fight movie (not up there with "Rocky" or "Warrior" but a fight movie nonetheless) with a lot of heart; 2) a comedy with a lot of laughs that hit you right in the gut; and 3) most surprisingly, a social commentary on today's school system, the cutbacks of programs like music and the importance of their effect on students. It also touches upon teachers losing their spark to inspire.
"Here Comes the Boom" might not have the largest impact, but it hits in all the right places with its weird characters, quirky humor and semi-mashup of genres. It's simply a winner.
Max Fisher is a senior at Leonardo DaVinci High School.
"Here Comes the Boom"
4 stars (out of 4)Rated PG