‘Balls of Fury’

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By Chris Wolf

Thomas Lennon stars in “Balls of Fury” (Rogue Pictures)

By Chris Wolf

“Balls of Fury” ruined my summer. In what can only be described as a poor man’s version of “Dodgeball,” the movie has neither the wit nor talent to save it from mediocrity.

The plot centers on a down and out, Olympic-caliber ping pong player, Randy Daytona (Dan Fogler), who must infiltrate an underground ping pong tournament and bring down Feng (Christopher Walken), the Yakuza crime lord who murdered his father. I won’t go any further into the plot, since it would take me longer to explain it than it took Ben Garant to write it.

“Balls of Fury” apparently didn’t have a high enough budget to hire Jack Black, so they cast Dan Fogler instead, who ripped off just about every funny quirk Black has incorporated into his movies. Half the theatre groaned when he started playing along to Def Leppard’s “Rock of Ages” on a ping pong paddle. Dan Fogler is pure suck in human form.

Disappointingly, Christopher Walken phoned in his role, mumbling line after line almost as if he was embarrassed to be in the movie.

Minor cameos from Patton Oswalt and the crew of “Reno 911” were the only redeeming parts of the movie. Thomas Lennon stole the show, playing Karl Wolfschtagg, Randy Daytona’s arch nemesis.

One of the biggest problems with the “Balls of Fury” is that it plays it too safe. The jokes are unoriginal and haven’t been funny since the late 90s. The writers never tried to create any original jokes, and relied far too heavily on double entendres revolving around balls, short shorts, Def Leppard, and male sex slaves.

I’m still dumbfounded as to how this movie went so wrong. With both writers from “Reno 911,” Patton Oswalt, and the legendary Christopher Walken, “Balls of Fury” should have had at least a few moments that made me laugh out loud or at least crack a smile. Unfortunately, the only time I smiled was when the credits started to roll.

Avoid “Balls of Fury” at all costs.

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