Here Comes the Boom (12A)


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The Independent Culture

As a rule I would recommend the widest possible body-swerve to any film with Adam Sandler's name on it, even as executive producer.

Yet this hokum about cage-fighting actually has a few good gags and decent performances. Kevin James plays a high-school teacher who's bored by his job – then learns that inspirational colleague Henry Winkler (wonderful) will be made redundant unless the money can be found to save his music department.

So James applies his brand of slobbish machismo to moonlighting as a mixed martial arts fighter, who can make 10 grand even as losers.

It's woefully thin on plausibility: fattie James would get slaughtered in a real fight, and his bothering fellow teacher Salma Hayek for a date is a joke only Hollywood could play.

But set against that some tender reflections on education and the immigrant dream, plus some tip-top physical slapstick, and you have a comedy that's worth at least two cheers.