Thursday, August 30, 2007

Balls of Fury

“Ping-pong isn’t played for trophies; it’s played in dark alleys for hard cash and ugly women.”

Years ago Randy Daytona (Dan Fogler) blew his chance at the 1988 Olympic Games. Not a washed-up has-been and punchline Fogler is offered a chance by FBI Agent Ernie Rodriquez (George Lopez) to return to glory and avenge the death of his father (Robert Patrick) by entering a secret underground tournament held by the man responsible, the crime lord Feng (Christoper Walken).

The film is filled with predictable dumb and gross-out humor and cheesy cliched training scenes involving a blind ping-pong master (James Hong) and his sexy niece (Maggie Q). And you know it’s not a comedy without a suppository joke and male sex slaves! *Sigh*

The acting is okay, at times, and Fogler comes off as a poor man’s Jack Black. Walken is back to his silly over-the-top performance he gives in films like these, and Maggie Q looks good in short-shorts and Aisha Tyler spends the movie in a leather dominatrix outfit. Yes, pre-teen males are obviously the target audience here.

One final note, the film is, in some ways, a love story to the English rock band Def Leppard who reached the heights of their popularity in the 1980’s. Fans of the band may find some nice moments throughout the film including t-shirts, music, and the cast going all karaoke during the closing credits to “Pour Some Sugar on Me.”

Balls of Fury doesn’t really disappoint; it doesn’t really do much of anything. Other than reminding me that Jason Scott Lee is still alive I can’t come up with a single reason why this film is, in any way, notable. Unless you’re a huge ping-pong fanatic or still hopelessly in love with Def Leppard than you can wait a couple years for this to show up free on cable.

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