Here Comes The Boom (12A)
A science teacher risks life and limb as a cage fighter in order to plug a budgetary shortfall at his high school in Frank Coraci's preposterous, testosterone-fuelled comedy.
Here Comes The Boom initially sets out its stall as a broad comedy, replete with run-ins between the laidback hero, who has fallen out of love with the job, and a pernickety principal (Greg Germann), who doesn't tolerate tardiness.
The script also contrives a romance between the teacher and a fiery school nurse (Salma Hayek), who has rejected countless overtures but softens as soon as she sees her paramour being pulverised for a good cause.
Once the central character strips off for his first bout and the script trades punch lines for bone-crunching punches, the physical humour and gooey romance sit awkwardly next to well-orchestrated, sweat-drenched fight sequences.
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Scott Voss (Kevin James) teaches biology at Wilkinson High School, which is weathering severe budget cuts.
The school's music programme, run by Marty Streb (Henry Winkler), is threatened with closure, which would spell redundancy for a well-loved teacher.
Determined to help his colleague and retain a subject that the students clearly adore, Scott vows to cover the $48,000 budget shortfall by taking on extra jobs.
Niko (Bas Rutten), a student in Scott's external citizenship class, introduces the teacher to the lucrative world of mixed martial arts (MMA).
Scott was a successful collegiate wrestler and he believes no-hold-barred brawling is the perfect way to save the music programme, presuming his 42-year-old body doesn't crumble.
Marty is deeply moved by Scott's self-sacrifice and agrees to help out behind the scenes, despite a complete lack of knowledge of contact sports.
"Were you actually ever in a fight?" asks Scott.
"No," replies Marty, pausing for thought, "... not with a boy."
Here Comes The Boom values brawn over brains. Skirmishes are convincing.
James and Hayek do not share any palpable on-screen chemistry but director Coraci persists in bringing them together. Beauty needs a snarling beast.