A SCIENCE teacher (Kevin James) risks life and limb as a cage fighter in order to plug a budgetary shortfall at his high school in Frank Coraci’s preposterous, testosterone-fuelled comedy.
Here Comes the Boom initially sets out its stall as a broad comedy, replete with run-ins between the laidback hero, who has fallen out of love with the job, and a pernickety principal (Greg Germann), who doesn’t tolerate tardiness.
The script also contrives a romance between the teacher and a fiery school nurse (Salma Hayek), who has rejected countless overtures but softens as soon as she sees her paramour being pulverised for a good cause.
Once the central character strips off for his first bout and the script trades punch lines for bone-crunching punches, the physical humour and gooey romance sit awkwardly next to well-orchestrated, sweat-drenched fight sequences.
Here Comes the Boom values brawn over brains. Skirmishes are convincing, heightened by sickening sound effects of jabs and upper cuts connecting with skulls at high speed.
The script struggles to justify Scott as a role model for the students, so introduces a class swot called Malia who needs her teacher’s help to convince her restaurateur father of the benefits of higher learning.
James and Hayek do not share any palpable on-screen chemistry but director Coraci persists in bringing them together.
Beauty needs a snarling beast.