DVD Review, “Balls of Fury” *
“Balls of Fury” obviously was dreamed up after the success of “Dodgeball,” but as cheap and stupid comedies go, this feels shopworn, like it was shot 20 years ago in the heyday of Leslie Nielsen slapstick. Maybe it’s the Def Leppard shirts worn by the shrill hair farmer Dan Fogler (a dead ringer for Curtis “Booger” Armstrong of “Revenge of the Nerds”), or maybe it’s the antique, Charlie Chan-style depiction of Asians, but “Balls of Fury” feels like a bad day at Blockbuster in 1990.
Fogler plays Randy Daytona, a former Olympic ping pong contender who went down in flames at the 1988 Summer Olympics. Reduced to awful supper-club demonstrations, the FBI recruits the distressingly metal-coiffed Randy to defeat Feng (Christopher Walken in full Ming the Merciless drag), the evil arch-nemesis who killed his father over gambling debts.
Walken’s puzzling appearance in “Balls of Fury” begs the question: what would the man turn down? But he is not the only decent talent scraping bottom here: veteran character actor James Hong, Aisha Tyler, model Maggie Q and comedian Patton Oswalt all cash checks from First Bank of Hell. Fogler never fails to annoy, and the titular joke keeps coming up like bad mu shu pork, making “Balls of Fury” a low-aimed serve with no score.
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