by Dennis Albini
Clash Daily Guest Contributor
In the past few weeks, the PG rated movie Here Comes the Boom (2012) arrived on one of my cable channels (Starz). I’ve viewed this twice within the last 10 days, and in my humble opinion, I consider this flick to be a modern day Rocky movie…and I don’t mean Rocky V.
NB: In the interest of full disclosure, I must confess that I have a strong bias toward Kevin James due to my love for his hit TV series, King of Queens. I also believe that, in general, especially compared to Hollywood standards, Kevin is a decent human being trying to live a moral, conservative lifestyle with his wife and children.
(Warning: Spoiler Alert!)
Boom‘s plot consists of an apathetic, “just there for the paycheck” high school biology teacher (played by Kevin James) showing compassion for the soon to be unemployed music teacher (Henry Winkler) due to budget cuts. It is set in Boston, MA (literally and in the movie) about Februay of the school year, and James and Winkler have until the end of the school year in June to raise $48,000 to retain the music teacher position.
When an emergency meeting is announced for the teachers to formulate a plan to raise the money, only James, Winkler and Salma Hayek (playing the school nurse) attend. After a few weeks of teaching night school (for U.S. citizenship), extra music lessons and bake sales only gross a few hundred dollars, and it becomes strikingly apparent that their goal will never be attained in only four months. Hope is fading fast. Hence, the advent of the “tipping point” serendipitously appears.
One of James’ night school students (played by Bas Rutten of MMA/UFC fame) implores him for private lessons at Rutten’s apartment to enable Rutten to have a better chance to pass his pending U.S. Citizenship exam. While at Rutten’s residence, James watches an MMA/UFC match and soon realizes that the LOSER of the match received $10,000 in prize money (the winner taking home a $50,000 purse). The rest, as they say, is history.