Reviewed by

Burton Carlson III

Now we all know what a “rom-com” is, right?  It’s Hollywood insider-speak for “romantic comedy” (and my, haven’t we seen some bad rom-com’s lately).  But I’m here to break new ground today, by introducing my own new insider-speak buzzword:  “moron-com”.  Moron-com refers to an adolescent comedy that aims for dumb, obvious humor … in short a movie that can only be evaluated by the amount of chuckles, giggles, and outright howls of laughter it can get out of you.

The latest entry into the moron-com genre is “Balls of Fury”.  In this movie, Randy Daytona (played by Dan Fogler) is a disillusioned thirty-something slacker who, as a child, garnered the international spotlight as a rising young ping-pong champion. However, his humiliating defeat in the 1988 Olympics shattered his confidence, and scarred him so badly that he swore off competition ever since.  But a US Government agent (George Lopez) offers him a second chance: Randy is to infiltrate an underground illicit table-tennis tournament run by the evil Feng (Christopher Walken), to take down Feng’s crime ring, and to avenge the murder of Daytona’s father (who Feng had murdered years ago because of gambling debts).  So with the help of ping-pong master Wong (James Hong) and his lovely niece Maggie (Maggie Q), he trains in order to regain his ping-pong skills and restore his confidence. He gets himself invited to the competition, and the story takes off from there.

Directed by Robert Ben Garant and co-written with Thomas Lennon, “Balls” (much like their “ Reno 911!” TV show) pokes fun at many pop culture images, with jokes that reference “The Karate Kid,” “Enter the Dragon,” “The Matrix,” James Bond movies, and a few others.  Done well, this might have been a laugh-fest … but instead the movie ends up being a sorry collection of tired gags that target homosexual and

Asian stereotypes, without the necessary amounts of deference or sacrilege.  “Balls” lacks the desperate irreverence or daring that other recent spoof films have, where wave after wave of jokes is launched at the audience with the hopes that a certain percentage of them will stick.  In comparison, “Balls” is terribly lame by comparison.  In short, “Balls” has no balls.

The acting in this movie is sub-par as well, as the actors struggle to find something funny in the material. The biggest loser in this is Dan Fogler, who most resembles a less frenetic Jack Black … but Fogler suffers badly in this comparison, as he shows very little charm or charisma, and the movie’s energy is consistently low as a result.  So if you are going to the theater expecting to see a great barrage of bad jokes and silly physical comedy, you will most definitely be disappointed … “Balls” isn’t even a good moron-com!

ARMSTEAD’S SECOND:  Movies are certainly the stuff of fantasies aren’t they?  Where else can you go to see a sixty foot gorilla, hear a talking dog, watch a man fly in a cape and blue tights, and not be considered gay, or see a black man be elected president of the United States and not get assassinated the next day.  None of that however is more fantastical than in the movie ‘Balls of Fury’ than the love couple pairing of the squat and overweight Dan Fogler and the long and lean international super model beauty Maggie Q.  I mean she doesn’t even have a legitimate last name as a testament to her awesomeness.  I think the woman’s real name is Maggie Quigley, which we can all easily admit is ass compared to Maggie Q.  If one were to do a precursory search of the men Maggie has dated in real life it would read like a who’s who of tall handsome Gap underwear models, and don’t be too surprised if you find me on that list – know what I’m saying?  But here, in the land of fantasy, squat fat guys who appear not to have bathed in while can imagine that they too can possess a Eurasian supermodel for just the price of a movie ticket and a bucket of popcorn.  And there’s nothing wrong with that.  But about ‘Balls of Fury’, a comedy that tries really, really hard but unfortunately misses the funny bone way more than hits.
I did find the movie slightly more amusing than Burton did, but he was accurate about the tired Asian stereotypes, though, regrettably, I found the homosexual stereotypical humor funny.  I’m sorry.  A disappointment to be sure, perhaps not on the level of ‘Date Movie’, but still a disappointment none the less.  I’m also totally stealing ‘moron-com’ and claiming it as my own.

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