Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Vol. CLIV, Issue 10
Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

‘Balls of Fury’

A parody of the 1973 Bruce Lee film “Enter the Dragon” with ping-pong instead of martial arts, “Balls of Fury” reveals the “dangerous” side of this seemingly harmless and slightly trivial game.

Randy Daytona is a 12 year-old ping-pong prodigy. His father bet on his victory at the 1988 Olympics with Feng (Christopher Walken), ping-pong enthusiasts and notorious criminal. When Randy’s match ends in a humiliating loss, his father is then murdered by Feng. Nineteen years off the circuit, Randy (Dan Fogler) is contacted by FBI Agent Ernie Rodriquez (George Lopez) to aid in a mission to capture Feng. Feng is hosting an invitation-only ping-pong tournament of the best players in the world, and the FBI believes something fishy is up. Randy is asked to infiltrate the event by being invited.

After such a long time without competing, Randy is a little rusty. He begins lessons with Master Wong (James Hong), a blind ping-pong expert. The Master also began Feng’s training before Feng crossed over to the “dark side.” With the help of Wong’s gorgeous and strong-willed niece Maggie (Maggie Q), Dayton beats the infamous player “Dragon” in the world of underground ping-pong and is invited to Fang’s showdown. In his competition, the matches are played “instant death” literally.

Now, you’re probably thinking, “You actually paid money to see ‘Balls of Fury?!'” Don’t get me wrong, it was bad. Apparently appealing to their demographic, there is a ton of blind-guy-running-into-things, crotch-punching and fart jokes, three of the lowest forms of humor.

Of course, there is the classic stupid comedy plot: boy meets girl, girl is hot, boy is not, boy proves his worth and girl is smitten. However, this brings with it what might be the greatest movie quote of all time: “I’m trying to sacrifice my life for our love, stop being such a dick!”
On that note, some of the jokes were genuinely funny. The fact that there are professional ping-pong competitors involved makes the ridiculous premise inherently amusing. The opening scene at the Olympics is great. At this point in his life, Randy is a superstar, complete with screaming and fainting fangirls, but the commentators are what make the scene. So authoritative, so cocky, so deadpan, commentators are always funny.

Fogler was well suited for the role and did about as much with it as he could. I wasn’t overwhelmed with his timing or the many looks of agony when he is sucker-punched in the, well, balls. But he was kind of cute and definitely endearing. Here’s hoping Fogler’s next screen endeavor won’t get labeled “pretty much the worst movie ever,” because I think he’s got potential.

Walken plays an outrageous character, he too is cocky and deadpan while slowing killing off the world’s greatest ping-pong players.

“Balls of Fury” is like “The Karate Kid” meets “Talladega Nights.” It takes itself very seriously, for comedic effect in this case, which is probably the funniest aspect of the movie. It falls flat on many occasions but redeems itself with outlandish characters and quotable quotes. Rent it.

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