A high school’s music program is on the budget chopping block, though not if crusading biology teacher Kevin James—stripped down to his trunks—can help it. Knuckleheaded though this faculty-member-turned-MMA-fighter comedy is, there’s no denying the plot’s lefty credentials, snuck in like Raisinets among the popcorn. Repeatedly, we’re told of the value of the arts by kindhearted conductor Henry Winkler. The passion of heroic educators is a theme, with the American flag making multiple cameos. And even though James gets to do his vaguely unsettling dance moves (and fall down a lot), he’s surrounded by true believers, including a foreign-born ring trainer (giddy former UFC champ Rutten) who aspires to citizenship. The movie thrums with social responsibility in between the barefoot canvas smackdowns—how current is that?
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