Balls of Fury


2007

With a name like “Balls of Fury,” movie critics had their knives sharpened before they even saw it. Attack they did, but really, who’d expect highbrow snobs to like it? For those who can appreciate a few mindless laughs in less than 90 minutes, this disposable comedy will provide that.

Newcomer Dan Fogler (“Good Luck Chuck”) seems to be picking up Jack Black’s scraps as Randy Daytona, a disgraced former ping-pong champion who’s recruited by the FBI to infiltrate an international, to-the-death table-tennis tournament headed by the evil Feng (Christopher Walken), who happened to have killed Randy’s dad many years ago.

Feng lives in a sprawling lair filled with Asian assassins and secret passageways. Coupled with the movie’s go-for-broke goofiness, one is reminded of the “A Fistful of Yen” segment from the Seventies classic “Kentucky Fried Movie,” but spread out to feature-length. While that piece may pack more laughs in a fraction of the time, “Balls” is not without its share of goofy gags, courtesy of game performances and a quick script by Thomas Lennon and Robert Ben Garant (who also directed), the boys behind “Reno! 911.”
 
Extra features are nothing special, unless you want the lowdown on the life of a ping-pong ball wrangler. The handful of deleted scenes suggests all the good material went into the film, which is just enough to merit a viewing.

“”Rod Lott

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