Balls of Fury
Reviewed by Tuxxer
7 out of 10
In 1973, the paradigm of Kung Fu movies hit the big screen. Enter the Dragon. Flawless and elegant in design, the classic film ensured Bruce Lee's immortality: Fighting champions of various backgrounds are brought together to an isolated palace to fight for glory. Since its debut, it has remained a cornerstone of the genre. With good reason: It kicks ass. [Ed note: seriously, there are few movies that are this good]
There have been many imitators, but not until Balls of Fury has a movie captured the unique flavorokay. It doesn't capture Enter the Dragon. It's a terrific tribute, though. Only where once were featured masters of Kung Fu, they have been replaced by players of the noble game of Ping Pong.
Ping Pong. Brilliant.
Written and Directed by The State alum Robert Ben Garant, Balls tells the tale of table tennis legend Randy Daytona (the talented Dan Fogler) and his fall from grace and return to greatness. Fogler won a Tony for a reason: he's hilarious. As a beer-bellied klutz, he's far from Bruce Lee.
What action flick would be complete with out stereotypes from the Orient? James Hong. He's been in everything involving Asian characters. Everything. He plays the blind Ping Pong mentor who hones Daytona's game. The delicious Maggie Q plays the obligatory and for some unfathomable reason, attainable, beauty who falls for Daytona.
Best of all, Christopher Walken plays the grand master villain, Feng. You need more reason than that to see this movie? What's wrong with you? Okay, fine. How about George Lopez?
The story lags from time to time, and the best moments of the flick made it to the trailer; but the movie's still good.
There's a special place in my heart for Thomas Lennon (of Reno 911). He was also on The State, and co-wrote Balls. He's brilliant, and in this movie manages to justify an angry German stereotype. Good, good times.
To be honest, you're only going to get the most out of this flick if you're a fan of Enter the Dragon. Hell. Rent both! Make a night of it. Thank me later.
You can pick up this movie starting today on Amazon.com