Kevin James’ Here Comes the Boom (rated PG) has flashes of insight and well-paced humor as it tells the story of one man’s transformation from lazy drudge to unlikely hero. James (King of Queens) co-wrote, produced, and stars in the film as Scott Voss, a high-school biology teacher who wrestled in college and was teacher of the year—10 years ago. Now he’s chronically late to class: When he arrives, sometimes through the window, he puts his feet on the desk and reads the sports page.
This appalling laziness continues when Voss schleps his disciplinary bus duty onto the kindly orchestra teacher Marty (Henry Winkler of Happy Days fame). Voss manages to remain well-liked, but he leaves behind his lovable slob posture when he learns the school is cutting the music program and Marty’s job: In a paroxysm of good will, Voss volunteers to raise the $48,000 necessary to keep the orchestra and Marty.
First, Voss tries to raise money by teaching an American government class to hopeful U.S. citizens, including a former Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighter named Niko. When Niko inadvertently exposes Voss to the lucrative MMA fight circuit, he figures MMA fighting will be a quick way to raise money for Marty. Voss learns it’s quick, but it’s not easy, and gets his fair share of pummeling. The story is fairly predictable from that point, but Voss’ humorous pratfalls and Marty’s cheesy demeanor make for a hilariously inspiring story of one man’s unexpected rise to hero-hood.