It’s not common that you see a movie that combines comedy with Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). You usually get a sports comedy film that focuses on basketball, football or baseball, but never mixed martial arts. Frank Coraci (director of “The Wedding Singer” and “The Waterboy”) comes together with Adam Sandler’s production company, Happy Madison, in order to create this heartwarming comedic film. “Here Comes the Boom” delivers some punch lines, but not enough to light a real fuse of explosive laughter.

The film stars Sandler’s costars from the 2010 blockbuster hit “Grown-Ups,” Kevin James and Salma Hayek. Kevin James plays Scott Voss, a 42-year-old former collegiate wrestler, who is now a biology high school teacher trying to save the music program with the music teacher, Marty. Marty, played by the iconic Henry Winkler, is down on his luck and needs the funds not only to support the children in the music program, but also his expecting young wife. Voss pities Marty and comes up with an idea that he can raise the money through competing in MMA. Voss and Marty’s colleague, Bella (Selma Hayek), believes Voss is out of his mind and is going to get hurt fighting within the mixed martial arts arenas. She eventually comes around to his idea after realizing his dedication to raise money for Marty and the kids.

Voss has until the end of the school year to raise $48,000 and is forced to quit his second job, which consists of night school teaching to foreigners who are trying to become American citizens. While Voss is in the process of quitting and focusing on training for MMA, he meets Niko (played by former UFC champion Bas Rutten), one of his night school students who is desperately trying to become an American citizen. Niko, who used to be a former MMA fighter, comes to an agreement with Voss that he will help him train for MMA in return for teaching the requirements needed to become an American citizen.

Voss goes through some tough training and gruesome ass whooping in order to become an MMA fighter. He solely relies on his former wrestling collegiate experience to help him, but is unaware that it can get him so far within mixed martial arts. Voss goes from severe beatings to throwing up on a fighter, to cuts and gashes all the way from being kicked in the balls to having his shoulder dislocated.

Many fans of James, such as myself, will enjoy “Here Comes the Boom.” Fans of MMA or just plain fans of comedy will enjoy watching this film too. Even though it doesn’t offer as much laughter as “The Hangover” or “Bridesmaids,” it still offers a plate of jokes with a moral that aims at explaining that you should fight for something that’s more than just yourself. The movie is a combination of “Nacho Libre” and “School of Rock.”

3.5 Stars