Movie Details

BALLS OF FURY

Down-and-out former professional ping-pong player Randy Daytona (Dan Fogler), is sucked into a maelstrom when FBI Agent Ernie Rodriguez (George Lopez) recruits him for a secret mission. Randy is determined to bounce back and win, and to smoke out his father`s killer - his archrival Feng (Christopher Walken).

Language: English
Subtitle: NA
Classification: PG
Release Date: 27 Sep 2007
Genre: Comedy / Sports
Running Time: 1 Hour 30 Minutes
Distributor: SHAW ORGANIZATION
Cast: Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Jason Scott Lee, Maggie Q
Director:
Format: NA

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Review
Writer: Lim Chang Moh

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Watch this if you liked: "D.O.A: Dead Or Alive", "Talladega Nights" and "Blades Of Glory"

While watching this movie, two questions ran through my mind: What possessed the film-makers to produce such crap, and what infernal weed were the scriptwriters smoking when they wrote this drivel? The simple explanation would be that the screenwriters had not really written the script themselves; they must have picked up a few pages each from hare-brained flicks like "D.O.A: Dead Or Alive", "Talladega Nights" and "Blades Of Glory" and put them together for this infantile effort. Either that, or they had used chimpanzees to do the script.

"Balls Of Fury" is about a ping-pong prodigy called Randy Daytona (Dan Fogler) whose career in the sport is cut short by his father's mistake at the Olympics in Seoul. Years later, Randy is reduced to a nightclub act in Vegas. One day, he is approached by FBI agent Rodriguez (George Lopez) to help nab an evil arms dealer known as Mr Feng (Christopher Walken). The big deal is that it was Mr Feng who killed Randy's dad, and the FBI wants Randy to get back in shape so that he can qualify for a table-tennis tournament organised by Feng and infiltrate his hideout.

Now guess who gets to help Randy train for the big match? Yeah, it is the oriental sexpot Maggie Q (you must have seen that one coming, didn't you) who plays the niece of the blind Master Wong (James Hong), owner of a ping-pong school in Chinatown. Please suspend disbelief a little more because, horrors of horrors, we see Maggie inexplicably falling for the pot-bellied Randy like he is the only kwai-loh (white man) on Earth!

"Balls Of Fury" turns out to be a disaster because some scenes that are supposed to be funny aren't; and those that are not supposed to be comical, are! Also, many of these gags have been explored by Chow Sing Chi in his comedies like "Shaolin Soccer" and "Kungfu Hustle" - with much better results. Another comedy attempt that turns out to be a wet blanket is the sequence involving a male sex slave for Randy. That sequence is more cringe-inducing than funny. The same goes for Walken's performance in this 'walk-in, walk-out' role. Heavily made-up to look like a Chinaman, the Oscar-winner takes it upon himself to ham-it-up so much that he looks utterly pathetic. We can only wonder how much he is paid to make such a fool of himself (and whether it was worth it).

The one star who really deserves the salary is Maggie Q. She energises the screen with her sultry looks and kungfu stunts. Too bad, she appears out of place among such a group of bland and ornery-looking guys. Fogler is terribly miscast here. It is hard to root for such a perpetual loser and one who cannot be genuinely funny. The supporting cast, including James Hong and Brandon Lee, have a field day overacting and behaving like clowns. Problem is, nobody's laughing.

To conclude, I would like to apologise to the chimps. It is really not fair to associate them with such an unfunny comedy about tiny balls and no brains. Chimps, as we know, have brains.

Cinema Online, 23 September 2008
   
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Classification
Effective 15 July 2011
G - Suitable for all ages
PG - Suitable for all ages, but parents should provide guidance to their young
PG13 - Suitable for persons aged 13 and above, but parental guidance is advised for children below 13
NC16 - Suitable for persons aged 16 years and above
M18 - Suitable for persons aged 18 years and above
R21 - Restricted to persons aged 21 and above only
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