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

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

This may not be the cheeriest movie of the season, but it's so skilfully written,...

Live By Night Movie Review

Live By Night Movie Review

Ben Affleck launched his directing career 10 years ago with his film of Dennis Lehane's...

La La Land Movie Review

La La Land Movie Review

After storming awards season with Whiplash two years ago, writer-director Damien Chazelle returns with something...

Assassin's Creed Movie Review

Assassin's Creed Movie Review

Hopes were high that this film might finally crack the curse of movies based on...

Silence Movie Review

Silence Movie Review

Faith is a topic Martin Scorsese can't quite shake, courting controversy with complex films like...

A Monster Calls Movie Review

A Monster Calls Movie Review

A difficult movie to market, this isn't actually the BFG-style fantasy adventure it looks like....

Monster Trucks Movie Review

Monster Trucks Movie Review

Word has it that a 4-year-old came up with the idea for this unapologetically silly...

Advertisement
Collateral Beauty Movie Review

Collateral Beauty Movie Review

Dramas exploring the nature of death and the true meaning of life are always in...

Paterson Movie Review

Paterson Movie Review

Unpredictable filmmaker Jim Jarmusch ricochets from his artful vampire movie Only Lovers Left Alive into...

I, Daniel Blake Movie Review

I, Daniel Blake Movie Review

At 80 years old, British filmmaker Ken Loach won his second Cannes Film Festival with...

Why Him? Movie Review

Why Him? Movie Review

Writer-director John Hamburg continues to recycle the formula that made his first hit Meet the...

Passengers Movie Review

Passengers Movie Review

Anchored by the almost ridiculously engaging Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence, this sci-fi movie travels...

Neruda Movie Review

Neruda Movie Review

Clever Chilean director Pablo Larrain (who also directed Natalie Portman's Jackie) takes on the Nobel-winning...

The Eagle Huntress Movie Review

The Eagle Huntress Movie Review

Narrated by Daisy Ridley (The Force Awakens), this documentary is one of the most gripping...

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.