Balls Of Fury

"Weak"

Balls Of Fury Review


The humor of a game like ping-pong is the outright laziness and inaction that goes into it. It's a sport designed for drunken high-school parties, frat-house basements, and stoners who need to do something while Jerry and Marley jam out (the same could be said about billiards). Ben Garant's Balls of Fury is contingent on this knowledge; the absurdity of lending some sort of importance to something that is basically as relevant as the color of sock you are currently wearing.

At first, Fury nails this ridiculous tone. The rise of ping-pong star Randy Daytona, a 10-year-old prodigy of the game, is adorned by numbskull television personalities and revered by the entire nation, including Ronald and Nancy Reagan. His defeat at the Olympics by German player Karl Wolfschtagg (Thomas Lennon, who also serves as producer and co-writer) is viewed not only as a personal loss, but a loss for America. His father (Robert Patrick) has his head lopped off due to the German victory, and Randy vanishes into obscurity.

Randy's re-emergence makes up most of the film, and it's here that the film begins to slide into tradition and away from savory buffoonery. We meet up with Randy (Dan Fogler) at a "dinner theater" gig, being introduced by a man (David Koechner in the film's best bit part) singing "Two Tickets to Paradise" with a parrot. As he is getting canned, FBI agent Rodriguez (George Lopez) drafts Randy to infiltrate a top-secret ping-pong tournament hosted by Feng (Christopher Walken), a triad boss and the man who ordered the death of Randy's father.

Randy's training begins with Master Wong (James Hong) and his uniformly gorgeous niece Maggie (Maggie Q). Things are still funny at this stage, including a great match-up between Randy and "The Hammer" (Patton Oswald) at a high school tournament. It's when Rodriguez, Wong, and Randy show up at the tournament that things start going south. There's a noticeable rush to tie-up the plot and all pump up the drama which, up to this point at least, had been put aside. Balls of Fury, and by extension most goofy sports comedies, attempt to have their cake and eat it too, at the viewer's expense.

This isn't to say that Balls of Fury is a total loss, however, because it still delivers some decent laughs. Though its second half doesn't quite hold up, Diedrich Bader's bit as Randy's "courtesan" should be recognized. But ultimately this is the problem with Fury. It relies so heavily on these short spurts of cameo comedians to keep the tired plot afloat. Any of the bit characters in the film could have been the focus, with a character like Randy coming in for a brief stint, and most likely the bit would be hilarious. Fitting such small ideas into such large structures (rigid ones at that) makes for modestly amusing but essentially pointless viewing, and that's exactly what Balls of Fury is. It'd be unfair to put the film up against films as enriched and lively as Knocked Up or Superbad, but it pales in comparison to the similarly-minded Blades of Glory. The film's inconsequentiality isn't a matter of pedigree; it's a matter of effort.

These balls are furious.



Balls Of Fury

Facts and Figures

Run time: 90 mins

In Theaters: Wednesday 29th August 2007

Box Office USA: $32.8M

Box Office Worldwide: $41.1M

Distributed by: Focus/Rogue Pictures

Production compaines: Rogue Pictures, Intrepid Pictures, Spyglass Entertainment

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 23%
Fresh: 29 Rotten: 98

IMDB: 5.2 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Ben Garant

Starring: as Randy Daytona, as Feng, as Agent Ernie Rodriquez, as Maggie Wong, as Master Wong, Brett Delbuono as Randy Daytona, jung, as Mahogany, as Freddy, as Sgt. Pete Daytona, as Gary, as Karl Wolfschtagg, as Mysterious Asian Man, as Siu-Foo, as Groundskeeper, as Rick The Birdmaster, as Hammer, as Jeff - Bathroom Attendant

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Free State of Jones Movie Review

Free State of Jones Movie Review

Since its true story is still so timely after some 150 years, we can forgive...

Deepwater Horizon Movie Review

Deepwater Horizon Movie Review

This reunion of actor Mark Wahlberg and director Peter Berg feels like a natural successor...

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children Movie Review

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children Movie Review

Ransom Riggs' bestselling novel is appropriately adapted into a movie by Tim Burton, the gothic...

Get Back Movie Review

Get Back Movie Review

Roger Appleton's documentary 'Get Back' looks into the music scene that come out of Liverpool....

Imperium Movie Review

Imperium Movie Review

First-time filmmaker Daniel Ragussis takes an unusual approach to this thriller. Since it's based on...

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

Like a 10-years-later follow-up to 28 Days Later, this small British thriller takes a refreshingly...

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

Director Antoine Fuqua brings his usual fascination with violence to this remake of the iconic...

Advertisement
Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

As it's been 12 years since the last Bridget Jones movie, expectations aren't too high...

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

A-list director Ron Howard worked with the surviving Beatles to assemble this engaging documentary, which...

Blair Witch Movie Review

Blair Witch Movie Review

It's been 17 years since The Blair Witch Project shook up the cinema and created...

Anthropoid Movie Review

Anthropoid Movie Review

Outside the Czech Republic, few people know about Operation Anthropoid, a spy mission in 1943...

Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

From Laika (The Boxtrolls), this is one of the most beautiful, sophisticated animated films in...

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

An offbeat comedy-drama with a timely kick, this charming family road trip takes on some...

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Sicario screenwriter Taylor Sheridan delivers another fiercely intelligent, engaging story that maintains high suspense while...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.