Here Comes the Boom

Movie review by
Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
Here Comes the Boom Movie Poster Image
Parents recommendPopular with kids
Teacher turns MMA fighter in tween-friendly comedy.
  • PG
  • 2012
  • 105 minutes

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 11 reviews

Kids say

age 9+
Based on 28 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

This is a movie about teachers recapturing what inspires them about educating -- and the idea that one person can make a difference. There's also a positive message about the importance of music education in public schools. And, of course, to always follow your dreams.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Mr. Streb is a fabulous music teacher who's invested in his students, repairs instruments for lower-income students, and is generally known as a superstar teacher. Mr. Voss starts out uninterested in his teaching career but ends up recommitting himself to his students and to what motivated him to become a teacher in the first place.

Violence

The Mixed Martial Arts training sessions and competitions are realistically brutal. Although they're occasionally comedic, they definitely leave Mr. Voss (and his opponents) punched, scraped, bruised, and injured (sometimes with blood). MMA is up close and hand-to-hand, and there's lots of kicking and punching. Two incidents of vomiting -- which is gross but then becomes comedic.

Sex

Mr. Voss flirts with Mrs. Flores every chance he gets, and at the very end he gets his kiss. Salma Hayek wears a couple of cleavage-revealing but not overly risque tops.

Language

A couple of uses of "ass," "hell," "crap," and "oh my God," plus some scatological humor (the vomiting) and mild insults: "stupid," "sucks," "loser," etc.

Consumerism

A few product placements, like Wise potato chips, World's Deadliest Car Chases, Triumph motorcycle, Affliction clothing, Columbia fleece jacket, Diet Coke.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Here Comes the Boom is an action comedy about a teacher who decides to compete in MMA matches to save his school's music department. Even though it deals with a violent sport, there's not too much blood, although there are plenty of bruises, injuries, and hand-to-hand (and foot!) combat. Language and romance are tame (sparing use of words like "ass" and "hell" for the former; some flirting, a date, and one kiss for the latter ), and the messages support the importance of arts education and standing up for what you believe in.

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byhicb January 21, 2016
Parent of a 6, 11, and 12-year-old Written byferpeirano June 16, 2013

Great family fun !

Great family fun movie. Did not expect it to be so good. Many good messages and role model. Quite a bit of violence from the boxing sport though...
Kid, 10 years old January 1, 2020

a family fun movie!

there is a bit of violence and inappropriate language. but it's a good movie in the long run.
Kid, 12 years old March 26, 2018

okay...

This movie did have the typical very funny Kevin James vibe, but it was also very violent. I left the room over 3 times because there was a lot of blood. I watc... Continue reading

What's the story?

Scott Voss (Kevin James) is a lackluster high school science teacher who sits around and reads the newspaper instead of instructing his kids. But when the principal (Greg Germann) announces that the school's inspirational music and band teacher, Marty Streb (Henry Winkler), is going to be laid off, Mr. Voss commits to finding a way to raise the $48,000 to save the music program. With the help of one of his citizenship class students, Dutch personal trainer Neko (Bas Rutten), Mr. Voss -- a former high school wrestler -- decides to try his luck in the "cage" of Mixed Martial Arts competitions.

Is it any good?

This movie is just a fun little confection that's got some Octagon action, high school laughs, and odd-couple appeal. James is a likeable comedian, though not all of his movies can be saved by his innately relatable charisma. Zookeeper, for example, was one of 2011's biggest duds. But HERE COMES THE BOOM is like Mr. Holland's Opus meets Warrior, minus all the sentimentality of the former and the gritty drama of the latter. The training sequences with retired MMA star Rutten are particularly amusing, as is the way Winkler's goody-goody music teacher interacts with James' burned-out science teacher.

As in all of James' movies, the object of his attention is a drop-dead gorgeous character, here a sexy school nurse played by Salma Hayek. But their flirtation-turned-romance is at least acknowledged as somewhat far-fetched (she jokes about how many years he's tried to lure her on a date). And the relationship stuff takes a definite back seat to the high school subplot and the MMA action, which is entertaining without being overly bloody or intense. (After all, it's pretty funny to see James walk out to Neil Diamond's "Holly Holy" instead of the new metal "Boom" song he wanted as his signature anthem.) Glee fans, take note: Petite Charice plays one of music department's star students, and she (obviously) gets to belt out a song during a climactic scene.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about movies about teachers. Why are public school teachers usually portrayed as either terrible or amazing? Is that realistic?

  • Mr. Voss and Mr. Streb are an unlikely pair. What do they each teach the other? Why do they each consider the other a "hero"?

  • How does Here Comes the Boom compare to other films about high school teachers?

Movie details

Themes & Topics

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