Balls of Fury Review
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After a devastating (not to mention humiliating) world championship loss, which ended in his father’s death, ping-pong prodigy Randy Daytona (Brett DelBuono) turned his back on competitive ping-pong forever. Nineteen years later, the 30-something Randy (Dan Fogler) is doing a daily matinee at a Las Vegas casino when he meets Ernie Rodriguez (George Lopez), an FBI agent who approaches Randy to help out on an important mission.

The FBI needs Randy’s help to infiltrate the Triad, the deadly Chinese gang who killed Randy’s dad. The Triad’s leader, Feng (Christopher Walken), is a well-known ping-pong enthusiast—one who holds a secret underground ping-pong tournament each year. The tournament is just weeks away—and if Randy can get an invitation, Agent Rodriguez will finally be able to bring down the Triad. But that means that Randy will have to find the courage to play professionally again—and he’ll need the help of well-known ping-pong master Wong (James Hong) and his beautiful niece, Maggie (Maggie Q).

Really, there’s not much more to be said about Balls of Fury—because it’s exactly what you’d expect. Or at least it was exactly what I expected. In fact, had I written this review before I even saw the movie, based solely on the trailers, I would have told you that Balls of Fury is a bit like 2004’s Dodgeball—a stupid comedy about an unlikely hero, battling his demons while playing an unlikely sport (I’m guessing that tetherball is next—or perhaps badminton). I would have said that the writing is silly, but you’ll laugh anyway—mostly because of Christopher Walken.

And I would have been right.

Balls of Fury isn’t a brilliant comedy—one with clever jokes or a unique story. The story’s been done before, and the jokes are pretty silly. The humor isn’t always solid, and the laughs aren’t exactly constant—particularly as the story progresses. But no one said it’s supposed to be a work of comic genius—and at no time during the movie does anyone involved take it seriously (especially not Walken, who’s absolutely, over-the-top goofy). And that’s why, despite its flaws, I liked it anyway.

You see, sometimes (especially after a long and tiring week) you just need a good brainless laugh. And, in that case, Balls of Fury is just what the doctor ordered. There’s no need to think, no need to follow a complex plot. It’s just some goofy loser with crazy sideburns playing ping-pong. And, better yet, it’s Christopher Walken (who, if you ask me, just makes any movie better). So if you’ve had a long week and you’re just in the mood for a brainless laugh or two, then Balls of Fury is just what you’re looking for.

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