2012 Running time: 101 Certificate: 15 Not yet rated


Kevin James toplines this Ultimate Fighting caper as Scott Volk, a jaded biology teacher who is stirred into cagefighting action when school cutbacks threaten the music program run by his dear old colleague Marty (Henry Winkler). Even losers get a payout, so once he brushes up the wrestling moves he last used 20 years ago, it'll be all gain and virtually no pain, right? Salma Hayek and former UFC champ Bas Rutten are on hand to pick up the pieces in a knockabout comedy that gives the dead-arm to Dead Poets Society.


  • Frank Coraci


  • Kevin James

  • Salma Hayek

  • Henry Winkler

  • Greg Germann

  • Bas Rutten


Like Nicolas Cage, Kate Hudson and his old pal Adam Sandler, Kevin James is a headliner whose every new movie sets the bar of anticipation lower than the last.

Thankfully, this mixed martial arse-about clatters merrily through its low expectations to provide James with his most tolerable outing since Paul Blart: Mall Cop. Which is hardly a ringing endorsement, but let's not get carried away.

James plays Scott, a one-time 'teacher of the year' whose desire to inspire disappeared long ago. But his passion is rekindled when his arch enemy the principal (Greg Germann) announces cutbacks that will see music teacher Marty (Winkler, now less like Fonzie than a Werther's Original version of Woody Allen) out of a job, just when he needs it most.

Needing $48,000 to save the school's musical soul, Scott gets an idea from super-fit Dutchman Nico (Rutten), a former mixed martial arts star who attends his evening citizenship classes.

If Scott gives Nico extra tuition, Nico can teach him how to survive enough cage bouts to collect the appearance money. And you never know, once he reaches his target, maybe his tantalising colleague Bella (Hayek) will let him get involved in her faculties.

The road couldn't be Rocky-er as Scott somehow manages to get a shot at the big time despite getting smeared all over the canvas by a succession of real-life MMA hard guys.

The title comes from the nu metal anthem by P.O.D. that Scott chooses as his theme tune. While that sets a suitably rowdy tone, the rediscovery of his teaching mojo ensures the kids are all behind him too.

With lots of affirmative messages behind the rough-and-tumble, it's a boisterous combo of beef and cheese.

Unfortunately, the comedy is strictly from the undercard.

James is a likeable presence with a good sense of timing. But as co-writer, he undersells himself with a predictable script that finds little inspiration beyond food fights, puke gags and the lameness of Neil Diamond.

You might smile. You'll probably wince. You may even cheer. Then it will all be over and you'll forget it ever happened. Boom.

You may also like

Get Sky Upgrade