IHAO on ... Here Comes the Boom

(This is from my facebook archive, before I started writing these longer and more in depth.  Every now and again I'll go through those and find some that I want to expound on, or just share again.  Here we go!)

Kevin James gets a bad rap ... ok, I don't like him much.  So maybe it isn't a bad rap.  But I do think that he's got some talent to exploit or whatever.  And when he puts his mind to really working hard and making something, he can really do a good job.  And that's what Here Comes the Boom is.

This was a great movie.  Or more accurately, this was a very good movie I absolutely love.  Take Happy Gilmore and a sports/fighting/tournament movie, smash them together with a little Mr. Holland's Opus.  That's this film.  Here Comes the Boom hits every note really well, has really good acting, great looking fight choreography, an amazing moral, one of the best portrayals of Christian characters I've ever seen in film (they never once say "I'm a Christian" or preach at the audience, but just do small subtle things).  Just a wonderful movie.  It is a very earnest movie about how art and music are important in the life of children, and how working hard and feeling good about yourself causes ripple effects in those around you.

The movie is very PG, by design, and that might put you off, but I hope it does not.  It is meant to be able to be swallowed by everyone, and is enjoyable for all ages as well.  It is really just a great passion project for Kevin James, who very clearly loved the film, considering the amount of work he did to go from being the chubby "lovable" Paul Blart to a convincing MMA fighter.  He met UFC fighters through doing King of Queens, and had the idea to do this, and trained his butt off to get into actual muscular shape beyond the dough-boy physique that Adam Sandler has made him synonymous with.  He ... no, everyone who was involved with this flick should feel good about the message they created, and the work they put into it.

Put almost as much work into it as Sam does to try to act ... at all.

I've said a lot of good things, but it isn't a perfect film, by any means.  The story is a little hackneyed, a little standard.  Oh, a better way to state it: you can tell they worked super hard to make the movie a good movie.  Think of it like a quilt.  You want to expertly weave the pieces together, to sew it all up, into a cohesive whole of a beautiful blanket.  This movie is like that, except you can see all the seams.  They are perfectly fine seams, very well made, but you aren't supposed to see them.  The opening and first act of the film is color coded blue for sadness, the middle act red for growing intensity, the denouement after the climax is all in white for hope and happiness with a final shot of the red, white, and blue American flag.  The writing is very clearly taking its beats from other movies before it.

This movie is a lot like that kid that wrote four extra pages of extra credit on his paper.  It is working really really hard to be good, and in a film, seeing that work, seeing the artifice and the seams actually detracts a little. Despite that, I still say this is a film everyone can enjoy, and highly suggest everyone sees.

Grade: B+

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