Balls Of Fury Review

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Walken plays an evil crime boss who is Table tennis prodigy Randy (Fogler) is all washed up - until an FBI agent (Lopez) asks him to infiltrate an underground ping-pong contest run by elusive crime boss Feng (Walken). But can mentor Master Wong (Hong) get Randy ready in time?


Watching this film, your mind begins to wander to the pitch meeting that spawned it (your mind will wander all over, in fact, but that’s one destination). “Hey, fellas, we got this great idea: it’s Enter The Dragon - but with ping-pong! And we’ve got the fat best friend from Good Luck Chuck to star in it, a bunch of racist jokes and even a running gag making fun of blind people!” Sure, you can see why some exec went for it, but there was never any question that Balls Of Fury was going to be pretty bad; the surprise is that it’s not utterly dreadful.

Fogler improves on his awful recent turn as a Dane Cook sidekick to play our hero, Randy Daytona, but he still doesn’t create anything you could call a character, veering from stupid to smart and smarmy to sweet as the scene demands. Somewhere along the way he convinces the lithesome Maggie Q to fall for his podgy charms, but it’s never quite explained onscreen why they suddenly click. Q, meanwhile, ably fills her twin tasks of kicking ass and looking pretty while doing it, but it’s two of the supporting cast who do the comedic heavy-lifting.

Terry Crew plays a big, bad, scary ping-ponger with a line in pec-jiggling as an intimidation tactic that would make a dead man laugh - but disappears after about five minutes’ screentime. And so we’re left with Christopher Walken, once again emphaSIZing. Odd words and PAUSING only to follow them. With a YELP. He’s firmly on autopilot, but also unfettered by any restraining hand from director Garant, and while he’s so far over the top he’s halfway to the German trenches, he’s also still lovable.

The look of the film is most reminiscent of an ’80s action movie - the drug baron’s secret jungle lair appears to have been shot in a public park somewhere in LA. With the oriental stylings and rent-a-goon bad guys, this comes to resemble nothing so much as a lesser Zucker-Abrahams-Zucker spoof of The Golden Child - and not in a good way.

Bad acting, writing and jokes... Apart from a few funny gags that save this from one-star ignominy.