Yet another cinematic masterpiece hit the big screen recently. One must only see the title, “Balls of Fury,” to realize that this thought provoking work of art is nothing less than genius.
OK, all jokes aside, it’s really not a bad movie. In short, it’s a mix between any Bruce Lee movie you’ve ever seen and Rocky – except instead of boxing you have pingpong and instead of Sylvester Stallone you have Dan Fogler (don’t worry, nobody else has heard of him either).
Fogler does a good job of portraying his character Randy Daytona, a one-time child prodigy in the world of competitive table tennis. After losing in the Olympics to the German pingpong superstar Karl Wolfschtagg, played by co-writer Thomas Lennon from “Reno 911!,” his career goes down the toilet.
Daytona’s father, played by the incomparable Robert Patrick, places money on the match and is killed by the Chinese crime lord Feng, played by Christopher Walken. When FBI agent Ernie Rodriguez, played by comedian George Lopez, informs Daytona of a secret pingpong tournament hosted by his father’s killer, they decide to use it as an opportunity to take him out.
However, as many years have passed since his disastrous showing in the Olympics, Daytona goes to pingpong expert Master Wong (James Hong) for training. While there he meets his love interest Maggie Wong, played by Maggie Quigley, and the outlandish story just gets odder from there.
Despite an excellent cast and several familiar cameos (Jason Scott Lee, Patton Oswalt, David Koechner and fellow Reno star Kerri Kenney), the writers deserve a paddle for not producing the same quality of movie as they did with “Reno 911!” If you forget about how ridiculous the plot actually is, there are still some holes in the script. It was not the type of movie to keep you constantly laughing, but there are a few good moments.
Perhaps the best part of the movie was the retro soundtrack, filled with more 1980s hair bands than the Betty Ford Clinic. The theme song of the movie would have to be “Nothin’ But A Good Time” by Def Leppard, which was the Daytona’s theme music during his adolescent stint in the Olympics.
All in all, I would consider this movie a waste of time unless you’re a pingpong champion or you still wear your Def Leppard T-shirt with pride. If either of those characteristics fit you, then this movie will be nothin’ but a good time.