Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Penny Thoughts ‘13—Here Comes the Boom (2012) ***

PG, 105 min.
Director: Frank Coraci
Writers: Kevin James, Allan Loeb, Rock Rueben
Starring: Kevin James, Henry Winkler, Salma Hayek, Bas Rutten, Charise, Mark DellaGrotte, Greg Germann, Joe Rogan, Gary Valentine, Krzysztof Soszynski

I honestly tried to give my heart to the movies of Adam Sandler. There was something about him that I was sure was genuine and slightly brilliant. I kept trying and trying to see it in his films, but it was often just out of the film’s grasp. That was until the movies didn’t even try anymore and therefore no longer could I. Maybe Kevin James will earn my new attempts to see something special from someplace you don’t really expect it.

James was a comedian that started as a recurring character on Ray Romano’s show until he earned his own, “The King of Queens”. It was Sandler that brought him to the big screen, first in Sandler’s movies, and then with his own starring vehicle “Paul Blart: Mall Cop”. “Mall Cop” didn’t impress me as much as it did others, but James did have a loveable kind of quality about him, and it is in full bloom in his own latest starring vehicle “Here Comes the Boom”.

The movie depicts a teacher, who once cared but has lost his school spirit. When budget cutbacks are announced at the school, it is not his position that is in jeopardy, but that of the music department’s single faculty member, who still has passion for what he teaches. This appalls James’ slacker teacher and he decides to raise the funds himself to keep the music department alive. Alas, raising $40,000 through teaching citizenship classes at night isn’t really a strong plan. He then learns how much professional mixed martial artists earn just to lose their matches. Now, he knows how he can raise the money.

This is a formula picture through and through, but there’s no problem with that in a movie this good hearted when you’re trying to please a wide variety of a family age range. James has that heart that Sandler was always slapping away just when you thought he was going to embrace it. James doesn’t feel the need to force anything. As such, he’s much easier to get along with as an audience member than Sandler. This is far from great cinema, but it’s good for a family movie night. Sometimes it is nice to see the good guy come in first. 

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