Here Comes the Boom

This film image released by Columbia Pictures shows Kevin James in a scene from "Here Comes the Boom." (AP Photo/Columbia-Sony Pictures, Tracy Bennett)

Columbia Pictures

An average made-for-TV-type movie that makes its way onto the big screen, “Here Comes the Boom” doesn’t pack much of a punch.

It’s a mostly harmless, mediocre comedy with just a whiff of Adam Sandler’s unfunny body-function humor. (Small wonder: The director helmed several Sandler movies, and Sandler and “Boom” star Kevin James are friends.)

James stars as Scott Voss, who doesn’t care one whit about his job as a high school science teacher. We first see him trying to sneak in late to his class. Of course, as he climbs in through a window, the principal (Greg Germann) is standing there.

Scott is friends with music teacher Marty Streb (Henry Winkler) and is appalled when he hears that school budget cuts will result in the elimination of the music program. So Scott offers to raise the $48,000 it will take to sustain music instruction at the school.

He once wrestled in college, so Scott figures that he stands a pretty good chance of winning in mixed-martial arts competitions. At first he gets pummeled and then he begins to find his footing. Of course he has a pretty colleague (Salma Hayek), who happens to be the school nurse, giving him encouragement (if not a dinner date).

Scott’s newfound gusto transitions into the classroom, where he discovers enthusiasm and the rewards of caring about his students.

It’s hard not to like James. In fact, I do like him. He has an affable Everyman persona that makes the audience want to root for him. And it’s fun to see Winkler — yes, The Fonz himself — back on the big screen (although I’m not sure why he selected this particular movie because his big-screen appearances are rare).

I like the idea of educators supporting music programs and finding innovative ways to teach students. Although the delivery of this concept is tepid at best, at least it has the right spirit.

Scenes that involve the performing music students are the best part of the film. Several sequences involve singer Charice, who plays a student. At one point, she belts out an incredible rendition of the Neil Diamond classic “Holly Holy.” It’s an intriguing performance and an interesting choice for a featured song.

The rest of the movie is simply humdrum. It doesn’t fall down and go boom, but it’s not a winner, either.