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Here Comes The Boom

Here Comes the Boom

Released 9 November 2012
Director Frank Coraci

Kevin James, Salma Hayek, Charice, Henry Winkler, Bas Rutten

Kevin James, Allan Loeb, Rock Reuben
Producer(s) Todd Garner, Kevin James
Origin United States
Running Time 105 minutes
Genre Action, comedy
Rating 12A

Knock me unconscious.

Let's get one thing out of the way first. I am a big King of Queens fan and therefore am akin to Kevin James' affectionate tomfoolery. In fact, I liked him so much that, against my better judgement, I actually quite enjoyed Paul Blart: Mall Cop when it was released a few years ago. That kind of set up James to be a credible movie star after his TV series had concluded but his regular Joe, bit of an idiot but a softy at heart antics can only go so far so many times on the big screen. While his character in Here Comes the Boom follows his laboured and tested approach, there's simply no getting away from the fact that this movie is awful – downright awful!

Scott Voss is a downbeat teacher, uninspired following a decade in a job he used to love but now couldn't care less about. But when his school is required to make cuts, and one of his colleague's music class is at stake, Voss takes it upon himself to raise the $50,000 necessary to keep his friend in a job. Lacking any good ideas, the forty-two year-old decides to rekindle his college wrestling career by becoming a martial arts fighter, and with the help of a posse of misfits he embarks on an unlikely run to the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

All in all, this is your run of the mill loser-prevailing-at-all-costs movie but pretty much lacking in any heart or endearing character development. The clichés from a barrage of other movies are shovelled out at an alarming rate that it's a wonder they had time to fit in any original dialogue. Effectively, it's Glee meets UFC – two entities heightened in recent popular culture brought together for no other reason than they are in popular culture at this given moment.

Possibly the most infuriating part of the film is that, whether by choice or because of the direction of Frank Coraci, or indeed that of star/writer James, all of the support cast feel the need to act in a Doug Heffernan manner. Why? There's enough Kevin James in this world to go around without an entire ensemble trying to mimic him. Tedious! James himself does his best to hold everything together on screen but there's only so much he can do - and his likeability is diminished because it is lost in the desperation of his peers.

Just about the only thing that is halfway decent are the action shots of Voss in the cage – these scenes are done well and bring a crumb of enjoyment to an otherwise forgettable flick. A knockout Here Comes the Boom is not.

- David Caulfield