In a world jaded by Most Extreme Elimnation Challenge and bad kung fu films, comes another attempt to fuse the martial art flick with the sport spoof – “Balls of Fury.”
When 30-something washed-up child pingpong prodigy Randy Daytona (Dan Fogler) is recruited for special government operation, the shadows of his former glories become his future. Randy uses his soon-to-be-perfected skills to infiltrate an illegal international table tennis tournament run by arch nemesis Feng (Christopher Walken), who, of course, killed Daytona’s father for gambling debts.
After some intense training with master Wong (James Hong) and his niece Maggie (Maggie Q), Daytona brushes off the dust and is ready to face his opponents, though he will soon realize winning is a matter of life and death – the loser of each round is killed.
This puerile comedy aims to please those looking for a quick laugh with bad jokes and the token Matrix references. Unfortunately for a cast thick with blooming actors, this B-list comedy is not exactly a crowd-pleaser.
Also a disservice is the typecasting of Fogler. Sporting his long hair, chubby stance and awkward persona, this actor is ushered into the hole Jack Black left for the younger crowd to fill. Regrettably, Fogler doesn’t have the charisma or talent to fill the shoes.
Walken, who can usually be counted on for an exuberance of hilarity, struggles with the thin and poorly written script. His lines are drab and boring, something not even a well-versed actor with plenty of pizzazz can make up for.
If would be unjust to expect a spoof film to produce the dazzling video and crystal audio quality of its dramatic and action-ridden counterparts, however the film is so obviously low quality that it wouldn’t even be claimed by VHS. This low-fi production seems to aim toward the classic kung fu movie style, but it’s not enough to make the leap. It makes “Balls of Fury” look cheap and half-assed.
Although the pathetic humor attempts of “Balls of Fury” might keep some low-maintenance audiences at bay, it certainly won’t be making any waves at the box office. Take my advice, going to a nursing home table tennis match would be more exhilarating than “Balls of Fury.” Wait for this one to show up in the Blockbuster $3.99 bin before you consider wasting your money.