Monday, March 11, 2013

Protect yourself.

Have you ever heard of Kidzbop? It's one of these seemingly weekly collections of pop music churned out for the masses, performed by nameless, cookie-cutter teens and pre-teens. It's like an intro to the scary world of actual music, but made safe by angelic, prepubescent voices. Also, all the naughty bits are scrubbed clean and made ridiculously innocuous. When I was younger, I would passionately berate these collections endlessly, lamenting that they suck and that they have no artistic value. Man, I was so cool back then. 

The first movie in last Wednesday's family snow-day doubleheader was Kevin James' latest, Here Comes the Boom. While not the outright horror show of his last family outing Zookeeper [review], Here Comes the Boom is yet another family flick aimed solely at kids and old people. And while a part of me wants to cry foul at its simplicity and curse all the wasted talent!, I'm starting to understand that there's an audience for this kind of stuff. And that there's nothing really wrong with that, either. It's simple, momentarily amusing and ultimately forgettable. But it's also sweet and innocent, too.

Kind of like a bunch of twelve year old boys singing Gangham Style.

Anyway, not that the poster didn't spell it out for you already, but the plot is some pretty standard stuff. An uninspired teacher in an uninspired school, decides on a whim to raise money to save the school's music program. Of course, even though his heart is in the right place, seems Mr. Voss (James) also has some selfish reasons, too, namely impressing the impossibly gorgeous Ms. Flores (played by Salma Hayek [and the girls]). As these movies always go, the plan isn't something simple like washing cars and bake sales, no siree. Mr. Voss decides that, despite being old and out-of-shape, he's going to enter the world of MMA. Why would he do that? Well, here's where it gets extra kooky, they pay big bucks even if you lose. Zany, right?

From here, you know the rest. Voss, after a fun musical montage, will ultimately give up, but before he can actually say the words, someone will interrupt and tell him how much it means to them! So, he'll continue, but he will then face an unbeatable opponent. I won't spoil it for you, but you can take a guess who wins. You can also guess that that thing he could never right in practice? Well, that's probably going to be key to the final challenge. Wonder if he can shock the world and pull it off...? Oh, and also, he may or may not get the girl, too. The uncertainty is brutal.

Also totally predictable, are the Yays and Boos. These two seem to keep saying the same thing over and over. But can you really hate them for it? Don't answer that.

  • Okay, my father-in-law is an inadvertently funny guy, but his sincere recommendation, without a hint of sarcasm, was hysterical. You have to see this! Henry Winkler is in it!
  • My God, Salma Hayek. She just keeps getting more beautiful. If she worked at my school, I would have a lot more available vacation days, trust me.
  • And speaking of, now I know what I want for Christmas: a date with Hayek and a separated shoulder. Rowr.
  • I enjoyed Niko, played by the gigantic Bas Rutten. Dude had some pretty sweet dance moves.
  • Major props to Boston Sports Lady. For an unattractive extra, I found myself staring at her.
  • Okay, between you and me, I enjoy watching a fat guy dance almost as much as I enjoy a sexy lady do the same.  Fine, you got me. More.
  • So, Neil Diamond makes everything better, right? Even MMA introductions, apparently.
  • Seriously, the only thing better than the Jewish Elvis banging 'em out, is an acoustic version of P.O.D's Boom, sung by the motherf--king Fonz, yo!
  • I actually liked their silly little take on slow motion walking. I might have politely chuckled.
  • Whoa. Serious time. Two impossible things happen here. Joe Rogan shows up. Joe Rogan is likable. Mind = blown.
  • And finally, as much as I would like to see Kevin James be in something really good, I must commend his commitment here. Dude's a beast.
  • On a snow day I just about begged for, please don't remind me of how certain teachers have lost their passion. Not cool, guys.
  • That was the worst school staff meeting I've ever seen. Well, second worst. I'll fill you in when you're older. *shudder 
  • All these budget cuts at the school, yet they still have the funds for pay-per-view? Let me see the P.O. for that one.
  • I can take a character who's a selfish a-hole, like Mr. Voss. Fine. But can it take more than one two-minute conversation to entirely turn around a lifetime of being a dick?
  • Another thing I hate in these movies? When that careless thing you said to someone is used against you twelve minutes later. In the theater, this is the moment where some idiot says Oh, that's what he said before! like it's subtle or something.
  • And finally, my son. See, there was a moment in the preview where someone gets kicked in the head with a yoga ball, right? Well, my kid thought this was the pinnacle of comedic greatness, naturally. The whole time we were watching this, he kept asking me, Now, Dad? Is it now? The guy getting bonked in the head with the ball? No. Now? Now, Dad? No. Not yet. Now? Yes, be quiet. Here it is. And then, someone says something about kicking someone's ass. Not a curse word in the entire movie, until the four seconds it has my three year old's undivided attention.
Bottom line, unless your grandparents are dying to Redbox something, this movie is ultimately a pass. My son didn't like it at all. I'm sure he'd have rather been listening to an even more saccharine version of Taylor Swift's We Are Never Getting Back Together than watch this flick.

Though, you could do worse with 105 minutes.

Like, listening to Kidzbop in the car. On repeat.


  1. There's nothing quite like a 3-year-old boy's pure unsullied love of slapstick comedy. :-) Great review, as always, but I'll pass on the movie.

    1. Ah, the simple pleasures in life. Still pure, before knowledge and reason tarnish them completely.

      Oh, easy pass here, no doubt.


  2. It's a stupid movie, but more enjoyable than you'd expect from James and co. Good review M.

    1. Very stupid. And the bar was so low after Zookeeper, damn near anything would be enjoyable at that point.

      Like getting punched in the groin.

  3. I really don't look forward to the day my son gets older and starts liking crap like this. Ugh.

    1. He wanted to see only that one silly moment of violence. But, I've watched (well, half watched) so many low budget animated flicks I've considered hara-kiri.

      That said, I have to take responsibility for the other 104 minutes. My bad, family.

  4. Oh, this one doesn't look too good. Shame about Hayek, she is very talented yet the only truly great role given to her remains Frida and that one was like a decade ago or something.

    1. It's weird, she's somehow become a member of the Adam Sandler Universe. Obviously, I wish we'd see more of her...though I'm not sure in what (she was pretty cool in The Savages...I guess). I have no idea why I've never seen Frida. Wasn't she nominated?