Here Comes the Boom

By Christopher Redmond

Mailed on October 12, 2012

Stamp image Standard
StarStarHalf StarEmpty StarEmpty Star

Dear Joel Reidy
Boom Operator

Dear Joel,

Admit it. You walked on set every day yelling "Here Comes the Boom… Operator!" If not out loud, then certainly in your head. Maybe you were just too shy to make the joke in front of everyone. But why would you be? You were working on a Kevin James film, after all. Going for the obvious laughs is his bread and butter. He may have dialed it back a notch for Here Comes the Boom, but he didn't replace slapstick antics for originality - just an octagon.

For all the complaints I could level against the film, watching everything unfold isn't nearly as punishing as what Kevin James' overweight junior high biology teacher Scott Voss goes through. To save the school's music program , he decides to try his hand at UFC fighting. A cause which seems noble enough, even as the script does its best to hide the his real motivation: to impress the school nurse, played by Salma Hayek. No matter what his character accomplishes, however, only the logic of movie magic can explain how she succumbs to James' gravitational pull (it's certainly not magnetic). And as James (as himself) awkwardly points out in a brief pre-movie clip, we'll all learn a nice life lesson about never giving up by the end of the film.

Joel, I hope you weren't caught snickering when you recorded that cheese-tastic soundbite. You don't want to upset the boss.

Unlike Mr. Voss, who gets his signature song, "Boom" by D.O.A., stolen from him by a competitor, no one risks upstaging Kevin James in the film--no matter how low-key he makes the comedy. A few adult students in his evening citizenship class come close (including real-life MMA fighter Bas Rutten), but there's simply no gut-punch laughs to be had. A few light jabs here and there, but nothing that will knock you too the floor.

A film like this should take a cue from its lead character and do something brave, just for one scene. Have us believe you're bobbing left, then hit us with a right. Instead it's a whole lot of here-comes-the-fat, here-comes-the-training, here-comes-the-hero. It's the kind of straight-to-video movie Tom Arnold would have made a few years ago, but somehow James makes it just bearable enough to debut on the big screen. Maybe that's the parallel.

Sounding off,


comments powered by Disqus
(% endraw %}