Balls of Fury

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +2

Content: +1/2

Dan Fogler, Christopher Walken, George Lopez, Maggie Q, Thomas Lennon, Robert Patrick. Action/comedy. Written by Thomas Lennon & Robert Ben Garant. Directed by Robert Ben Garant.

FILM SYNOPSIS: In this secret society, the competition is brutal and the stakes are high. It is the unsanctioned, underground, and utterly unhinged world of clandestine ping-pong tournaments. Down-and-out former professional Ping-Pong phenom Randy Daytona (Dan Fogler) is sucked into this maelstrom when FBI Agent Rodriguez (George Lopez) recruits him for a secret mission. Randy is determined to bounce back and win, and to smoke out his fathers killer arch-fiend Feng (Christopher Walken).

PREVIEW REVIEW: I want to take it easy on these filmmakers. This type of comic spoofing is so difficult to pull off. Woody Allen did it brilliantly in Whats Up Tiger Lilly, as did Christopher Guest with his Best In Show and Waiting For Guffman, while others have often disappointed. Its magic when it happens, but such magic is illusive. You can have a great concept, great visuals such as Christopher Walken dressed as Fu Manchu, and you can have a bouncy fat guy in the lead, just like John Belushi, John Candy, Chris Farley and assorted other zaftig practitioners of outrageous physicality, and still the film wont work. Here, many jokes fall flat, while others just never seem to arouse more than titters. The fat guy sweats a lot but never really makes us feel or laugh. And Christopher Walken never generates that other-worldly humor that he so often makes look effortless.

Now, nobody sets out to make a bad movie. But since this film is so inconsequential, with little on its mind, youd think that at least the gags would be funnier. But the plot does a cameo, the lighthearted absurdity is toothless, and theres nothing new in the way of puns or wisecracks. Theres the old guy making with prickly observations and the little girl who kicks the lead in the groin and the occasional passing-wind bit. But just how many times are audiences expected to laugh at a man grabbing his crotch in pain?

Its not really satire or parody or madcap. Its just lame. Oh, rats, I was going to take it easy on these guys.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Rogue Pictures

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: A few crudities, including anal jokes, but fairly tame by todays standards.

Obscene Language: Four obscenities the s-word; several expletives.

Profanity: One Jesus, evidently included to help gain the PG-13 rating.

Violence: Lots of slapstick buffoonery such as falling down an elevator shaft, martial arts kicks and flips and kicks to the groin. A sinister henchwoman blows poisonous darts at her prey. Gun battles, martial arts battles. The leads father is killed off camera.

Sex: Some sensuality as the camera roams over the scantily clad form of the female co-lead.

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: None

Other: None

Running Time: 90 minutes
Intended Audience: Teens and Older

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