Here Comes the
by Tony Medley
This movie is
advertised as a "Kevin James comedy." James co-wrote the script,
produced and stars in the movie. To be benevolent it is misguided. James
plays Scott Voss, a high school biology teacher who wants to raise money
for his school's music program, run by Henry Winkler. The only way he
can do it, apparently, is to enter MMA fights and lose. The entire movie
consists of Voss entering and fighting in brutal MMA fights. The target
audience is apparently children. If there was anything funny in it, I
I loathe boxing.
Equally loathsome are boxing movies, except Humphrey Bogart's The
Harder They Fall (1956), which was really an anti-boxing movie,
which is why I liked it.
Boxing is an
anachronistic remnant of the Roman gladiatorial age. It consists of two
people (now women are engaging in boxing, certainly not an advancement
of our civilization) who are trying to beat each other to a pulp. An
activity like this has no place in a civilized society.
Arts (MMA) is an extreme version of boxing. People can kick, hit their
opponent when they are down, and do virtually anything to win the match.
Statistics show that more than 25% of boxing and MMA participants suffer
The third most
common injury for MMA fighters is concussion, which is not surprising
since the goal of each fighter is to knock the other fighter into a
state of unconsciousness. In fact, concussions are a
much-underappreciated injury in sport. The NFL is finally realizing it
and taking measures to protect its players from head injuries. In
preliminary results reported in April 2012 as part of an ongoing study
of 109 professional boxers and MMA fighters being conducted by Dr.
Charles Bernick and his colleagues at Cleveland Clinic’s Lou Ruvo Center
for Brain Health, fighters with more than six years of ring experience
were observed to have reductions in size in their hippocampus and
thalamus whereas fighters with more than twelve years of ring experience
were observed to have both reductions in size and symptoms such as
memory loss (the hippocampus and thalamus deal with memory and
This movie shows
one scene in which James is pounding his opponent's head into the mat
and it bounces up and down with each blow. Another scene shows James so
beat up that he can't see clearly, speak clearly, or think clearly,
obviously symptoms of a concussion. Yet neither scene leads to the
conclusion that the victim has suffered any consequence at all. They
both walk away all smiles and almost unmarked.
of visual violence with no consequences desensitizes viewers to
violence, which can result in mindless brutality, like the ruthless,
unprovoked attack at Dodger Stadium on a San Francisco Giants fan who
was hit in the head and has suffered permanent brain damage. It is
particularly inappropriate for impressionable children.
While the film
seems to have a good moral, a man who risks life and limb for the good
of his students, it glorifies the vicious fighting in MMA. In fact the
final dénouement is 10 to 15 minutes of brutal fighting in which Voss
fights a guy who looks and acts like a killer. He gets brutally beaten
in the first two rounds. When he comes back in the third round people in
the audience, including his girlfriend Selma Hayek and his youthful
students, look like bloodthirsty Romans in the Colosseum, yelling for
Voss to pulverize his opponent, apparently not recognizing that his
opponent was a human being.
My screening had
lots of children in it. Because the producers apparently want to appeal
to children, this is a particularly despicable, feckless film. Equally
disappointing is that Winkler, who is the co-author of 17 children's
books and has a record of doing good things, especially for children,
would be a part of an irresponsible, destructive movie like this.
October 10, 2012