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Dublin: 10 °C Friday 18 October, 2019
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An Adam Sandler-produced movie about cage fighting? I’m there!

Kevin James plays a biology teacher who inexplicably gets a shot at a $50,000 UFC fight. Here’s Patrick McCarry’s take on Here comes the Boom.

Image: Sony Pictures

ADAM SANDLER FOUND himself so busy making $80m films that he sought an everyman replacement in the form of Kevin James.

While Sandler fills his comedic hands starring in Jack and Jill and That’s My Boy, James has taken up roles in Zookeeper and Paul Blart: Mall Cop.

Double the headliners, double the fun. That’s the theory anyway.

James, who appealed to many TV viewers as Doug Heffernan in King of Queens, plays a work-weary biology teacher in Here Comes The Boom.

Produced by Sandler’s Happy Madison, a company that has churned out 36 films in 13 years, Boom moves along at a rapid pace and is best enjoyed without questioning its place in the realms of reality.

After shoulder charging a vending machine to get some chips/crisps, Scott Voss [James] is drawn by a the melodic tunes emanating from the room of music teacher Marty [Henry 'The Fonz' Winkler].

Within five [movie] minutes, the school’s music programme is given the winding-up order and Voss is stirred into caring again.

Spurred on by Marty’s canine waggability and the passion of school nurse Bella Flores [Salma Hayek], Voss decides to dust down his college wrestling skills and moonlight as a cage fighter.

Cages, chickens and time for prayer

From kicking Marty, wrapped inside a mattress, and slurping pre-fight meals of homemade apple sauce to getting a quick run-down in the brutal intricacies of mixed martial arts, Voss starts to take home serious coin to give real hope that the music programme can be saved.

The appearance of a chicken in a murky cage fighting venue and dodgy flooring in a ramshackle octagon ring provide the brevity in what is, essentially, a 30-minute montage.

As Voss starts to improve, assisted along the way by American citizen wannabe Nico [Bas Rutten] and a Boston trainer who sneaks in a couple of odes to the Almighty [Mark DellaGrotte], he comes under the bombastic UFC radar.

Over Asian cuisine – cooked by real-life/movie-life older brother Eric [Gary Valentine] – UFC host and talent-spotter Joe ‘Fear Factor’ Rogan gives Voss his shot at the big time.

As the big night in Las Vegas nears, Voss realises that it is really his students, those nuggety pups, that he really should be fighting for.

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Verdict

If you have watched the trailer [above], expect three extra jokes in the feature film. If not, get ready for a French Fancies-sized treat.

James is likeable in his better moments, leaving the physical comedy behind, and Boom deserves a spot in the top 10 of Happy Madison produced films.

Whether that is enough to entice you to the picturehouse or not depends on your collective love of Sandler, James and the familiar faces that litter their offerings.

If you do watch Here Comes The Boom, I want you to ask yourself this: How much it would cost to fly 80 students from Boston to Nevada and put them up for a night?

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About the author:

Patrick McCarry

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