If you ask the movie studio, Balls of Fury was a huge Comic Con sensation. Rogue Pictures announced that they had decided to move the release date of Balls of Fury up because of the incredible response they received at the convention. While I was covering the con, I talked to hundreds of people, yet didn’t hear one positive thing about the flick. Which made me wonder, did I miss this “phenomena”? Or was it a complete PR creation.
For me, Balls of Fury never even looked funny in the trailers and video clips. It didn’t even seem that amusing. Writer/Director Ben Garant is behind some of the worst comedy films of the last three years: Taxi, The Pacifier, Herbie Fully Loaded, Lets go to Prison, Night at the Museum and Reno 911!: Miami. But the comic con crowd supposedly loved this film, so I decided to give the film a chance, with my expectations raised just a little. And by a little, I mean slightly. And by slightly, I mean, not much at all. I went into this film with little to no expectations and came out of the film feeling dumber than I did two hours prior.
Balls of Fury follows Down-and-out former professional ping-pong phenom turned failed Reno restaurant performer. But one day he is recruited by the FBI to spy on a series of Ping Pong competitions in hopes of being invited to a fatal competition held byÂ FBI’s Most Wanted, arch-fiend Feng (Christopher Walken), who also happens to be the one who killed his father. The story is convoluted, and the comedy is ridiculous and stupid. The script seems much tighter than the group’s past efforts, but offers just as little in terms of comedy.
Randy Daytona must undergo secret Ping Pong training with a blind carbon copy of Mr. Miyagi, who spouts out wisdom like “You Suck when you’re nervous” and “It is better to die like a tiger than to live like a pussy.” There is not much to laugh at in Balls of Fury. And in the end, it seems less of a parody, and more of the same old generic sports comedy. They missed a great opportunity to play against and with the conventions of the training/sports/competition genre, but chose instead to be that type of movie, but to a ridiculous degree. The characters are unbelievable, unlikable, and for the most part, unwatchable.
I usually look forward to Christopher Walken to make even the worst movies watch-able. But his turn as a evil Elton John dressing Ping Pong master is probably his least interesting performance to date. There is no destined-to-be-classic monologue (remember Walken’s Tooth Fairy speech from The Rundown?). While Balls of Fury might pass for a late-night HBO half asleep watch, there are so many better comedies available now theatrically. I suggest you spend your money elsewhere: SuperBad, The Simpsons Movie, Death at a Funeral, or Rocket Science.
/Film Rating: 3.5 out of 10