Balls of Fury
Written by Thomas Lennon & Ben Garant
Directed by Ben Garant
Running Time: 1:30
for crude and sex-related humor, and for language.
Balls of Fury was a surprisingly entertaining film with enough laughs to make it worthwhile entertainment.
Randy Daytona was a child ping pong prodigy, destined to win the gold medal at the 1988 Olympic Games at the young age of 12. However, in his semi-final match he falls flat on his ass and with a camera in his face, announces he's 'Going to Disneyland!' Daytona is turned into a national laughing-stock. And by the way, his father was betting on the match and was murdered. Fast-forward to present day. Feng, the man who was behind Daytona's father's death is wanted by the FBI. Feng also has a love for ping pong and stages a secret tournament for the best and the brightest. The FBI wants Daytona to come out of retirement and enter the tournament and take down Feng. But can Randy get back to his glory days? Or will he once again fall flat on his rotund behind?
You sort of know what to expect from a movie like Balls of Fury - I mean, it is about ping pong after all. And it did have the usual amount of dumb humor including lots of kicks to the groins. And it did have a ridiculous love match between two people who would never get together in real life. And it did have Christopher Walken dressed up like a modern day Liberace. But what I liked the most about the movie was the subtle humor that came from the dialogue more than anything else. It was usually in the form of short asides where I'd find the greatest laughter. In one scene (that I can not do justice to in print) Master Wong brings Randy to the tournament and says (something to the effect of) 'this is where hopes and dreams, are made.' He then pauses for effect and says 'Of course, I'm over exaggerating...' I realize that seeing it written down it may not be that funny, but the way it was done in the context of the movie and in the context of other 'sports' films, it made me laugh out loud for a few seconds.
The movie was more of a parody of these kinds of sports hero movies than anything else. The actors were constantly winking at the audience and saying, yes, I know how ridiculous this is, but stick with us, it'll be funny. Christopher Walken is now at the point of his career where just showing up is enough. His style of speaking has been imitated so often it's hard to remember when he was taken seriously as an actor. That being said, he does bring a lot to the table and it was fun seeing him let loose and just go nuts. Before this movie I had no idea who Dan Fogler was, and I'm still not quite sure where he came from. In face, I just had to scroll back up to remember what his name actually was. He's not your typical leading man, but his facial expressions and delivery of dialogue make him a comedic actor to remember. I have a feeling no matter how this movie does, we'll be seeing more of him in the future.
I don't imagine this movie is going to make a ton of money in theaters, but I think it'll develop a nice cult following on DVD. The story, as it is, is pretty ridiculous. In fact making a movie with ping pong as its center isn't something that should work. I will say though that the ping pong scenes were pretty well done. If it was real or CGI I couldn't really tell either way. The rest of the cast held up well enough. I'm not generally a George Lopez fan, but I liked him here. And the father/daughter Wongs were great for two reasons. James Hong's character Master Wong as a blind teacher was constantly funny, and Maggie Q's character Maggie Wong was constantly hot. So each brought something to the table.
THE BOTTOM LINE
So overall, I enjoyed Balls of Fury, more than I thought I would. Yes, it's a dumb comedy, but there are some hidden gems in there as well which make it worth checking out.
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