Almost forgot to do a review of this one. Fortunately, I saw it coming on cable again and I was reminded that I still hadn't spoken on it. And the fact that I watched a second viewing of it was a good indicator of where you can foresee this post going.
In "Here Comes the Boom", former collegiate wrestler Scott Voss (Kevin James) is a 42-year-old apathetic biology teacher in a failing high school. When cutbacks threaten to cancel the music program and lay off its teacher (Henry Winkler,) Scott begins to raise money by moonlighting as a mixed martial arts fighter. Everyone thinks Scott is crazy - most of all the school nurse, Bella (Salma Hayek) - but in his quest, Scott gains something he never expected as he becomes a sensation that rallies the entire school.
I've made no bones about the fact that James has become one of my favorite actors. He's on that virtual list I have of must-sees whenever an actor/actress puts a movie out. At least until he or she starts making joints that put that are questionable. Then I have to start using more discretion before I invest the time in their work. Halle Berry is a prime example of the latter. But for now, James is doing just fine.
It was nice how James was able to get a little more fit so he at least looked believable in this role. I'm no MMA expert by any stretch of the imagination, but from what I've seen from highlights, the James of the "King of Queens" days was not going to be winning any MMA matches. I couldn't even see him getting on any fight cards. Who would book him? However, he had slimmed down a bit here, looking like he could really hang if he had to.
One thing that still bothered me was how he was getting paid for each fight. His loses his very first fight and gets paid $750. Where do they do that? I know cats that have been doing low-level MMA for a bit and they don't make that kind of loot. Especially in a losing effort. If it was like that, why wouldn't every Joe Schmoe be getting in on the action? Heck, I'd even take a chance in a fight or two if I knew I would make that much just for losing.
I don't think I can ever get used to Henry Winkler playing the meek characters that he's been mastering in his later years. I understand that he's gotten good at it. So good that we've become accustomed to seeing him like that. So good that we can tend to forget that he was Fonzie. Can he at least get one role where he's and older version of Fonzie? I mean I'm not asking him to bust out with the old cool tough guy niche that Sam Elliott has got pinned down, but at least once it would be good to see more than just a glimpse of the Fonzie we all know and love.
If you have seen any trailers at all for "Here Comes the Boom" then you can pretty much already correctly guess that the plot is predictable. Still, James successfully delivers yet another likable character filled with so many quirky and laughable moments that only someone of his caliber can deliver. And just like that, his streak with me continues.
My rating: B