2012-10-12

Here Comes The Boom – Hope, Inspiration, And Fun For The Whole Family

by Yo Snyder

Here Comes the Boom is a lot like it’s star Kevin James; it’s
funny and it has a lot of heart. It’s one of those increasingly rare
movies populated with good people who want to do the right thing just
because it is the right thing. It’s a movie that wants you to feel good,
and leaves you feeling just that way. Sure it’s a little cliche. Sure
it’s a pretty typical “underdog who gets an improbable win” type of
story. It doesn’t have many surprises and it’s saccharine sweet, but I
found it charming, often very funny, and very heartfelt. Plus, it just
left me feeling good after it reached its inevitable happy ending, and
quite frankly, I like that. 

The central message of this movie
centers around the need for hope, inspiration and resolve. Kevin James
plays a high school biology teacher who literally fights, as in goes out
and does MMA (mix martial arts) fights and eventually goes all the way
to the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) all to raise enough money to
save his school’s music program; not just to preserve that teacher’s
job, but also so the kids can continue to be inspired by music. It’s a
fun story, and entertaining to see a 42 year-old biology teacher try and
survive in the MMA octagon. I’ve been learning a little MMA myself
recently (mostly for the exercise, not for competition), and I have to
say, the exhaustion and pain exhibited by James’ character all rang
true; that sport ain’t easy, especially at my age (or James’ age).

Now,
there are plenty of people in this world who could use a little hope
and inspiration; the question is where are they going to get it from?
Well, at our church, we have a saying; I Am They. What that means is
oftentimes we might hear people say, “They should do something about
that.” We hear of the need for hope and inspiration and it’s easy to
think, “Yeah, that’d be good, someone should do that.” Well, who will
that someone be? Who is They. The answer proposed at our church is, I Am
They. You and I are the answer. If we see a need, we shouldn’t wait for
“someone” to act, we shouldn’t wait for “them” to do something; we are
that someone, we are they. We can step-up and provide that hope and
inspiration, we can take action and make difference. It’s not up to
someone else, it’s up to us. In Here Comes the Boom, Scott Voss
(James) steps-up in a moment of need and says, “I am they”, and
hopefully, it will inspire more of us to be willing to do the same.

While
Kevin James is the undisputed star of this movie, he’s ably supported
by a great cast. Henry Winkler puts in a touching turn as the music
teacher who’s job and program is in trouble. Selma Hayek plays the sweet
and fun love interest for Kevin James, and they have some great
chemistry. And then there are plenty of actual MMA and UFC figures in
the film as well. One of the best is Bas Rutten who plays Niko. His role
is delightfully fun, energetic and just plain likable (with a little
wackiness). His character reminds me of those people that you just can’t
help liking because they’re always so full of joy and child-like glee;
they just enjoy life and you can’t help enjoying it either when they’re
around.

Another thing I appreciate about this movie is just how
family-friendly it is. Yes, there are some MMA fights and a little
blood, but nothing super graphic or viciously violent. More than that
though, it’s a movie without any harsh language or any suggestive
themes; it’s just a fun, funny movie that I would totally feel
comfortable showing to my whole family. We get plenty of that with the
CG fare these days (and sometimes, not even then), but it’s rare to have
that with a live action movie. Well, I’m glad that Here Comes the Boom is one of them.

I
can’t help but think that, seeing as he was one of the writers for the
movie, that Kevin James really had it on his heart to share a story of
hope and inspiration, that he wanted to tell people that when things get
tough it’s still worth fighting for the good things in life. Resolve is
necessary, and we may get some bumps and bruises along the way, but in
the end, doing the right thing is always worth it. Those values and the
message pours forth from this movie in a heartfelt and sincere way, and
it’s also willing to laugh-it-up with some delightfully enjoyable and
fun character along the way. Here Comes the Boom is one of those
good movies that makes you feel good after you’ve scene. It’s not Oscar
bait, it’s not Shakespeare, but it is fun, and sometimes that’s enough. 

Score: 6 of 7