Balls of Fury
Review by Jack Foley
IT MAY sound like the name of some obscure porn movie but Balls Of Fury is actually a comedy about ping pong – and a limp-wristed one at that!
Dan Fogler stars as washed-up table tennis prodigy Randy who is given a shot at redemption by an FBI agent (George Lopez) who recruits him to infiltrate an underground ping pong contest run by elusive crime boss Feng (Christopher Walken).
It’s up to legendary mentor Master Wong (James Hong) and his shapely daughter (Maggie Q) to ensure that Randy’s good enough to compete without blowing his cover.
Fogler’s last attempt at comedy was the equally disastrous Good Luck Chuck, in which he appeared as a sexist, misogynist plastic surgeon with absolutely no redeeming qualities.
His portrayal of Randy in this is a minor step up, in that he does at least appear sweet-natured on occasion. But thanks to a painfully unfunny screenplay from director Ben Garrant and co-writer Thomas Lennon, Fogler gets little or no opportunity to show he really can act (let alone top-line a movie).
Maggie Q looks embarrassed to be a part of the ensuing mess, while Walken seems content to ham it up – although quite what appealed to an actor of his stature is really quite baffling.
There is the odd smirk to be had from some of the ping pong jokes but it’s yet another of the movie’s failings that potentially funny scenarios – based around the antics of Randy’s oddball opponents or the potential to poke fun at the ’80s action genre – are wasted as quickly as they appear.
The end result is a tacky, wretched comedy that’s excruciatingly bad from start to finish. Come to think of it, the porn movie version would have been better!
Running time: 90mins
UK DVD Release: April 21, 2008