‘Balls of Fury’: Thank You; Try Again

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Rating: 2/5CHICAGO – Thank you. Try again. When your sell is entirely dependent on being utterly hi-lar-ious, you’d better trigger unruly body spasms.

Otherwise, for instance, you’re left with a film like “Balls of Fury” because you only served up a subpar gag show.

Thomas Lennon in Balls of Fury
Thomas Lennon in “Balls of Fury”.
Photo courtesy of IMDb

“Balls of Fury,” which opened on Wednesday, is a well-intentioned attempt at hilarity through the admittedly original lens of the cool side of ping-pong. It’s funny, sure, but the critical question is: How funny?

One way to judge the side-splitting value of a feature-length film is by using the body test. Do your loins ache from laughing so frenetically or did you only crack a few grins and release a couple chuckles?

Maggie Q in Balls of Fury
Maggie Q in “Balls of Fury”.
Photo courtesy of IMDb

Unlike the riotous time I had at “Superbad,” “Balls of Fury” partially delivered but mostly disappointed. The film could have used a good deal of polishing, the extraction of some botched funnies and the appendage of many more.

The always brilliant Christopher Walken donning Asian drag, though, helped to make up for some of the film’s pitfalls. As an unexpected local touch, Robert Blackwell of Chicago-based Killerspin was at my screening and announced his involvement.

Christopher Walken in Balls of Fury
Christopher Walken in “Balls of Fury”.
Photo courtesy of IMDb

Killerspin is the host of professional ping-pong tournaments. Blackwell was called on by the film as a promotional partner and plays an extra, he says, even though my relatively sharp eye didn’t notice.

“Balls of Fury” is currently sporting a 27 percent (out of 100) rotten rating at Rotten Tomatoes based on 81 accredited critics.

Dan Fogler in Balls of Fury
Dan Fogler in “Balls of Fury”.
Photo courtesy of IMDb

While I never check the Tomatometer rating before formulating an opinion (hence why the figure is wrapping up this review), it’s understandable when you delve in thinking you’ll be falling off your rocker when instead you just jostle around every now and then.

While a “huge comedy with tiny balls” is great marketing, its truth is in its mediocrity.

HollywoodChicago.com editor-in-chief Adam Fendelman


© 2007 Adam Fendelman, HollywoodChicago.com

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