Kevin James plays Kevin James, who is late for school, there is a problem here since he is a teacher. He sneaks in the window but the headmaster is waiting on him, and takes a vacation day away from him, he fails to care about teaching that day. He wanders around the school and finds Henry Winkler teaching music. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the Fonz has turned into Mr Holland. We move on to a after school meeting where we find out that this school is dumping the music program, not good since the teacher is a year away from tenure, and his wife is pregnant. The administrator agrees that if they can pull together 48K, he will keep the music program alive.
So Kevin James goes to teach Citizenship to a bunch of immigrants, cause we need some reason for him to meet BAS F’N RUTTEN, who is kind of the Moses Malone of MMA, if you saw him, you knew how awesome he was for a short time, but no one really goes out of their way to see how awesome he was. Bad Comedy ensues, but it does get us over to Bas’ apartment where he is watching the UFC, James finds out that the winner of the fight got 50K, and he thinks he can try MMA, cause its a simple sport, and he was a good wrestler back in the day, and raise the money.
I know a bit about the business of MMA, and let me just let that whole plan go ok? Let me be brief and just say the chances of A) Kevin James doing MMA on ANY level is a joke and B) There are guys fighting on the PPV portion of the card that don’t make that much, let alone curtain-jerkers.
So Bas starts training James, and eventually he meets Mark DellaGrotte, who takes a liking to him, and we get Kevin James being Kevin James playing Rocky and getting his arse-kicked in the MMA cage. One touch I do like is the mention that its an “underground” fight, so no commission keeping a 40 year old fat guy from getting the snot kicked out of him by pretty much anyone with a McDojo background. As time goes on, he does improve, and even learns an overhand right that knocks out Mayhem Miller (who is only 3 weight classes below him, but moving on) During this time, he’s dropping cash on the vice-principal desk, thats going to work out fine, right? We get a whole bunch of fights, Kevin James get a date with Salma Hayek, who is far too hot to be a single school nurse, and I bet every boy in that school has a medical file a mile long, and one of the students becomes a very special person, but is having to quit music to work in her fathers Chinese restaurant. Stick a pin in the last two. Oh, and Kevin James is also helping out his brother who hates his job but just happens to be a great cook. Yes, we have hit Cliche-Ville. No wait, we got one more, betrayal. One of Kevin James’ fights was witnessed by Joe Rogan, who is commentator for the UFC, and he wanted James to get a shot in the UFC. Bas turned them down, and tells James he wasn’t ready. In a Bro-Bonding moment, Rutten tells James he was jealous since he didn’t get a shot in the UFC, with a neck injury.
So James takes the fight, and then as they are in Vegas, we discover that Hayek does care for him (yay!) the VP has skipped town with the cash (Boo) and now James can’t just lose to get the final 10K but amazingly, if he wins he gets the 50K and everyone goes home happy!
Naturally his opponent is a massive favorite in the fight, and the UFC has problems finding opponents for him, since he’s so scary. James walks out, and for some reason our very special student is signing his walkout. He gets all inspired and whups up on the his heavily favored opponent- no wait, Krzysztof Soszynski beats the SNOT out of James, and totally just tees off on him. James has the heart of a lion and the chin of a hundred Ali’s, and I’m sure Dana White is having kittens watching this. We get a lot of James just getting KILLED, until at the end of the third round he pulls off the upset to end all upsets (recall training montage) and wins! He even gets to kiss Salma through the cage in a Rocky Moment. He has saved the music program, his brother is now working at the restaurant and happy, and finally, Bas Rutten is now a US Citizen. Everyone is happy! Well, except Krzysztof Soszynski, who I’m sure Dana White cut and buried in the post-fight show.
But are you?
Of course, Its a Kevin James movie and its Kevin James being Kevin James, but there are enough legit funny moments in here to keep me happy, and pretty much every time Bas is on screen he is worth it. The Fights can be goofy, and how a 40 year old fat guy with a 4-3 record gets a UFC shot, but hey- they let Arlovski back in, so I guess its possible.
Henry Winkler is kind of wasted, he’s not bad in the third spot on the comedy line, and he does pretty good with limited time. Salma Hayek is also wasted, but I’m never going to complain about her being in my feild of vision. I’m OK with the sub-plots, but I really don’t think we need all of them. I would think spending time with the Fonz and seeing how he cares might have done the same thing with Kevin James not caring about teaching, maybe making this more of an adult movie? Do we really need James to be a slacker? I think they tried to cram too much into this and it takes away. James wants to save the Music Program, he tries MMA to make money and meets Bas Rutten- he also tries to hit on the hottest Nurse in US History. See? Easy plot.
Worst part of the movie is clearly the chicle’s they have to shoehorn in this thing. Its a paint by numbers script stolen a good bit from Rocky, with some Rampage Jackson, Bad News Bears, and even Dead Poets Society and every Rocky knock-off movie since then. It hurts it, and I just don’t see the need to see it again. I’ll give it a 4, since its a good time killer- much like every other Kevin James movie. Enjoy Bas Rutten though, he’s just the best part of the movie.
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