Sunday, December 16, 2007

Balls of Fury DVD

DVD Review by Kam Williams

Headline: Zany Spoof of Bruce Lee Karate Classic Arrives on DVD

Randy Daytona (Dan Fogler) was a promising ping-pong prodigy when, at the age of 12, he was thoroughly humiliated at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea by his showboating German adversary, Karl Wolfschtagg (Thomas Lennon). Now it’s been almost two decades since Randy picked up his paddle to play competitively. Ostensibly washed-up, his career has been reduced to performing tricks as a lounge act at a seedy dinner theater in Reno.
So, it’s no surprise that he comes out of retirement when the FBI attempts enlists his assistance in finding a fugitive on its Ten Most Wanted List. For, not only is the diabolical Feng (Christopher Walken) the mastermind of an international criminal enterprise, but he also happens to be the cold-blooded killer responsible for the murder of Randy’s father (Robert Patrick) many years ago.
Agent Ernie Rodriguez (George Lopez) reveals to his recruit that the very elusive Feng is about to stage an invitation-only ping-ping tournament featuring the best players around. The plan is for Randy to work himself back into good enough shape to be among those summoned to the site of the top-secret tournament.
With a plotline suspiciously similar to that of the Bruce Lee martial arts classic Enter the Dragon (1973), Balls of Fury is a zany spoof which substitutes ping-pong for karate while seizing on every opportunity to inject CGI-enhanced slapstick and sight gags every step of the way. Although a few of the jokes simply fall flat, this laff-a-minute adventure is so earnest in its endeavor to keep the humor coming, that you’re likely to find yourself guffawing heartily right on the heels of another bit that just made you groan.
Worthwhile for Dan Fogler’s breakout performance alone, as he comes across like an endearing combination of Johns Belushi and Candy.

Excellent (3.5 stars)
Rated PG-13 for profanity, crude behavior and sex-related humor.
Running time: 91 minutes
Studio: Universal Studios Home entertainment
DVD Extras: Deleted scenes, alternate ending, “The Making of” and another featurette.

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