Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes
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Doug Wright reporting
What the movie, "DodgeBall" did for that illustrious, but under-rated sport, "Balls of Fury" does for Ping Pong… another athletic endeavor that has never quite received its due.
The film opens with young ping pong prodigy Randy Daytona with paddle in hand realizing that his father has bet on his Olympic Match and if he doesn't win, dear old dad will be the next victim of the infamous Ping Pong aficionado, Feng-played to bizarre perfection by Christopher Walken.
Well, we immediately fast forward to Daytona's life now and find that he's doing a lounge lizard ping pong act at the Peppermill….really.
Dan Fogler stars as grown-up Randy and after one of his dazzling performances, he's approached by Agent Rodriquez of the FBI-played by George Lopez-and informed that he's needed to help bring down the infamous Feng.
Seems Feng is hosting a tournament that will highlight the finest players from around the world and this could be Randy's big chance for revenge. Ah, but the lounge lizard ping ponger is woefully out of shape so, it's off to the blind, Master Wong-played by James Hong who is reluctant to train a non-Asian but eventually agrees because of his own history with Feng.
Wong's lovely daughter, Maggie-played by Maggie Q is assigned to hone Daytona's skills for the big tournament.
When the paddles start flying, well, I was laughing a lot. Oddly, these characters become strangely endearing and once again, Walken has turned "going over the top" to an art form. "Balls of Fury" is incredibly dumb, but it's also very funny….kind of, Three Stooges funny.
I was relieved that, while rated PG-13, and certainly not without a raw edge, this film, at least, uses some restraint.
What can I say, "Balls of Fury" gets a guilty 2 ½ stars and it's rated PG-13.