THE OTHER DAY, I was thinking, "What would a two-hour feel-good commercial for UFC look like?" Okay, that wasn't the other day, that was never, but the universe answered me anyway in the form of Here Comes the Boom, which will hereafter be referred to by the vastly superior title Mr. Brawlin's Opus.
Kevin James stars as a burned-out high school teacher (literally too cool for school!), who takes up cage fighting to save the band program (literally something worth fighting for!). This might not seem like the most obvious fundraising path, but James' thought process is pretty convincing: "I need to raise money. Oh look, UFC is on television. I'll try that."
So James works his way up the ladder of what appears to be cage-fighting open mics, while simultaneously wooing the school nurse, played by Salma Hayek (who's so charming and attractive that you can see why the producers decided this movie only needed one woman). And I won't spoil the ending for you, because that would ruin the fun of knowing exactly what's going to happen as soon as the movie starts.
Mr. Brawlin's Opus is lightly funny, making it an acceptable moviegoing experience for people with back injuries and women who are pregnant or may become pregnant. Despite featuring several very funny comedians (and Joe Rogan), it still leans pretty heavily on gay jokes and men throwing up on other men's faces. But what it lacks in humor, it makes up in heart: In addition to being surprisingly pro-band, the movie also features inspiring dialogue: "You gotta go after your dreams." "You think?" "Yeah."
If you're one of the dozens of Americans in the center of the Venn diagram for "People Who Love High School Band" and "People Who Own a Tapout T-Shirt," you're sure to love Mr. Brawlin's Opus. If not, maybe wait for the sequel, in which Kevin James will take a job as a sniper to help fund the school's chess club.