It’s not really that surprising that MMA and the moviemaking industry have become bedfellows in recent years, what with the former’s boon in popularity and the latter’s need to capitalize on literally any trend or remotely popular thing for monetary gain. But while most critics have attempted to grade these crossover flicks like they’re the next Citizen Kane or something, there have been few (if any) who have analyzed them based purely on how accurately or inaccurately they portray combat sports from a technical perspective. To which I say, NO MORE.
Starting today, I am embarking on a mission to review every last movie with even a tangible connection to MMA, boxing, muay Thai, or even fighting in general. All of them. I will not be grading these movies, nor will I be offering a critique on superfluous things like plot, writing, and acting. Instead, I will be doing that thing that I just mentioned above.
The only place to begin, of course, is with the Mecca of modern MMA films (and the only one co-promoted by the UFC!): Here Comes the Boom, aka Paul Blart Presents: Mixed Martial Farts.
Starring the incomparable Kevin James as biology teacher Scott Voss, Here Comes the Boom tells the story of an affable schmuck’s attempt to bed Salma Hayek *and* save his school’s music program with six months of sprawl training in the lowest-paying sport in modern existence (save maybe women’s basketball). The Fonz is also there. It’s all very strange.
But the questionable logic of Voss’ plan aside, does he display the kind of skillset that would make him a viable threat in the UFC’s notoriously shaky heavyweight division? Let’s take a look at the numbers.