Making the Grades
A lot has happened since Scott Voss (Kevin James) won Teacher of the Year a decade ago. And most of it hasn’t been for the better. Now, instead of inspiring higher learning in his biology classes, Scott is mentally absent and chronically tardy.
Yet despite his classroom deficiencies, Scott is appalled when Principal Betcher (Greg Germann) announces the school will be cutting extra-curricular activities including the music program run by Marty Streb (Henry Winkler) who has just confided to Scott that his wife is pregnant. However only Bella Flores (Salma Hayek), the school nurse, shows up when Scott organizes a meeting to discuss raising funds for the musicians.
With the weight of saving the music program resting on his shoulders alone, Scott eventually stumbles onto the idea of competing in mixed martial arts fights where even the losers make more money than he does teaching community education classes in the evening. One of his adult students, Niko (played by renowned MMA master Bas Rutten) reluctantly agrees to coach him. With Marty tagging along for moral support, Scott enters the world of cage fighting. And with a little luck eventually finds himself competing in the ring at the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
As Scott’s winnings slowly add up, an even bigger change occurs as this disenchanted educator regains his passion for teaching and passes his enthusiasm on to the apathetic students in his classroom.
Supported by a cast of famous names from the UFC (including commentators Joe Rogan and Mike Goldberg, MMA trainer Mark DellaGrotte, announcer Bruce Buffer, professional cutman Jacob “Stitch” Duran, referee Herb Dean and fighters Jason Miller, Krzysztof Soszynski and Wanderlei Silva), James and the other non-professional fighters pull off some brawl scenes that are surprisingly engaging—for a fight.
The rumbles result in some bloody facial injuries, bruising, a dislocated shoulder and the kind of punches you wouldn’t want thrown at home. Other content in this PG-rated comedy consists of some rude humor, couple spats and brief language. Still, the script also allows many of the characters, including the oft-maligned school administration, to develop and amend their ways over the course of the story.
Although cage fighting might not be the kind of fundraising event your school is ready to support, the budgetary shortfall depicted in this film (and the attempt to correct it) makes for some entertaining moments for families who don’t mind a little grappling on the mat along with more hard-hitting mixed martial arts action.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Here Comes The Boom.
How does Scott’s discussion about cell stagnation relate to his school’s atmosphere? Why does Malia’s father question the value of her being in school? Does he have a valid argument considering the kind of education she is getting in Scott’s class? What challenges do teachers face that can impact their enthusiasm and motivation? Why does Marty feel differently about his subject?
The UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) gets major advertizing in this production. Should this type of sport be highlighted in “family” entertainment? How do the filmmakers try to lessen the brutality of the sport for this movie?
How important do you think subjects like music and art are in the school system? What impact can they have on students now and in the future? Why is the football team not under the same threat to be cut? Why is it sometimes easier to get support for sports than the arts? Does the number of students participating make a difference? Is it ironic that a sporting event is used to help save the music program?