Let me start off this review by stating that it is always a pleasure to watch a Kevin James film. There is something incredibly refreshing about watching a comedy that doesn’t rely on crude or obscene humor to get you from one scene to the next. I am not saying that this is how most comedy films make you laugh, but it’s an element that becomes easy, if not routine, to rely on. Even some of my favorite recent comedies do use some of that comedy I am referring to (The Other Guys, 21 Jump Street). What I want to state is that it is nice to sit down for a movie and not have to ask myself whether I am going to be censoring myself when I quote it later on.
So yes, as you can probably tell, my opinion of Here Comes the Boom is pretty positive and favorable. I won’t too much into the specific plot details because I believe you should go watch it yourself, however, there are several elements in which I would like to expand on.
Here Comes the Boom does a great job at portraying the beginnings of quite a few MMA fighters. I am not saying that most MMA fighters start fighting due to selfless causes, but the truth is that a lot of fighters do come from a great variety of professions (including quite a few teachers). The film does a great job at portraying MMA as a sport in its own regard and not as the gladiatorial-spectacle that a lot of people see it as. This is expected, due to the fact that Kevin James has been one of Hollywood’s greatest fans of MMA and the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship). So, when it comes to the accuracy of portraying the sport, the path to the UFC, the training fighters go through, among other elements, the film does a good job.
The film has a pretty excellent and very effective cast. The starring roles are taking up by Kevin James, Salma Hayek, Henry Winkler, along with the appearance of many others appearing as themselves such as Joe Rogan, Mike Goldberg, Bruce Buffer, Jason “Mayhem” Miller (as “Lucky” Murphy), and even the hated and loved Chael Sonnen.
Here Comes the Boom also tells a beautiful even though simple story. It is a story a personal growth, about learning to live a life beyond our small and self-interested ambitions. Kevin James’ movie is about more than just MMA fighting and the UFC; it is a film about regular people looking outside their comfort bubbles and learning to serve, care, and be selfless in thought and in action. Even beyond the fact that I love MMA, Kevin James’ ability to portray these simple yet important elements through his films, including Here Comes the Boom, is what truly makes this a film worth experiencing–and you also get to take your family to it without risking any awkward moments, because Kevin James is simply better than that.
There are some shortcomings in this film, just like every single film has. The love relationship between Kevin James’ character, Scott Voss, and Salma Hayek’s Bella Flores could have been better developed even though it obviously isn’t the main focus of the story. Overall, the toughest critics state that the film doesn’t contain enough laughs, and that the general story line isn’t strong enough to carry the film beyond the absence of sufficient comedy. In my opinion, that may be true to some extent, but I believe that the element of the film exploring MMA and the main character’s pursuit of a goal beyond himself do make up for nonstop laughter.
Overall, I give Here Comes the Boom 7 out of 10 stars, the loss of 3 stars due to the elements lacking above. However, I have no regrets in going to watch the movie, and, if someone asked me to tag along, I would be more than happy to watch at the movie theatre again.
PS: Love the fact that the title comes, in part, from a P.O.D song. How crazy is that?
PPS: Also, for the haters that will say that this movie copies elements of Warrior, be aware that Here Comes the Boom and Warrior were both filmed around the same time and the former was released earlier due to specific circumstances.