Credit: Gemma La Mana

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.

Balls of Fury
  • Movie
  • 90 minutes