Gemma La Mana
Owen Gleiberman
August 29, 2007 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Balls of Fury

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
PG-13
runtime
90 minutes
Wide Release Date
08/29/07
performer
Dan Fogler, Christopher Walken, George Lopez
director
Robert Ben Garant
distributor
Rogue Pictures

We gave it a F

Balls of Fury is a joke of a title in search of a movie with a single good joke. It’s the kind of comedy that finds Asian people hi-lar-ious because they’re…Asian. (Are you laughing yet?) Dan Fogler, as a disgraced American Ping-Pong wizard who is plucked by the FBI to infiltrate an underground table-tennis tournament, is shortish and chunky, with hair-metal curls and sideburns wedgier than Elvis’. A studio head must have barked, ”Get me a Jack Black type!” The actor Fogler most reminds me of, though, is Curtis Armstrong, that s—-eating-grinned junior hustler from Revenge of the Nerds and Risky Business.

In his Def Leppard T-shirt, Fogler is apprenticed, Karate Kid-style, to a blind Chinese restaurant owner (James Hong) who says things like ”Remember, you suck when you are nervous!” He then goes off to the Ping-Pong death match presided over by Feng — played by Christopher Walken in outfits that make him look a transvestite geisha, only with his good old spacey-mobster-from-Queens delivery intact. It’s meant to be a hoot that Walken showed up and mumbled his lines as if he didn’t know the camera was on, but the audience ends up about as bored as he looks.

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