Movie Review: Balls of Fury (2007)

Usually parody films are a successful endeavor (the original Scary Movie and Not Another Teen Movie are examples) because they’re easy to make. For the most part the story is already constructed, so all the writers have to do is come up with funny filler material and their off to the races. Coupling that with the latest craze – substituting the focus of the movie with a child’s game being played seriously by adults and the template for success is complete (Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story is an example). So even though Balls of Fury had both elements going for it, my intuition was screaming avoid at all costs. I didn’t listen. Let my mistake equal your gain.

I know you’re thinking the advertisements for Balls of Fury look funny as hell, but trust me, it’s all done with smoke and mirrors. Here’s the problem: it simply tries too hard. Comedies that try too hard are never funny. The writers (Thomas Lennon and Ben Garant) actually passed the point of being amusing and landed squarely on annoying. They took every trick from the Comedy Writers Handbook (close cousin to the Dungeon Masters Guide), jumbled them all together and hoped for a comedy miracle. Here is a sampling:

  • Have people say mean and dirty things in a foreign language so they have to be translated – that’s twice the fun from the same joke
  • A mentor with a disability who says and does stupid things is always good for a laugh (see Happy Gilmore)
  • A hero who is fat, clueless and a social outcast is easy to make fun of, and in the end, is always worth cheering for
  • Making the villain eccentric and flamboyant is comedy gold (see Zoolander). Points given if you can cast Christopher Walken in the role
  • Fags, whether needed or not, are always good cannon fodder

Now it is possible to have these elements (plus more) in a movie and still be funny, but to bring it all together the writing and acting all have to top notch. That’s not the case here. Nothing the characters say is witty, catchy or entertaining. The writers figured the absurd premise would be enough to carry the film – after all it is about underground ping-pong! The acting is terrible too. George Lopez as FBI agent Ernie Rodriquez says his lines with zero enthusiasm. Christopher Walken as the evil Feng, appears completely lost. I think he woke up from a stupor, found himself on the set and decided to stay for a while.

The only high points of the movie are Dan Fogler and Maggie Q. Dan plays Randy Daytona, the ostracized ping-pong champion stuck working as a cheap night club act. His appearance breaks all the norms of what we expect from our sports heroes – he’s fat, sloppily dressed in Def Leppard concert tees and has lambchops Elvis would be proud of. Seeing him ham it up as he lip syncs Rock of Ages is the only worthy performance in the movie. Maggie Q as Randy’s love interest, on the other hand, doesn’t do much in terms of acting, she just looks absolutely fantastic.

What else needs to be said? Balls of Fury is a complete waste of celluloid and 90 minutes. Everyone working on the this film should be ashamed of themselves. Lord knows I’m ashamed of myself for watching it. I’m hoping the big screen adaptations of Tag: You’re It and Hopscotch Dreams make up for this colossal failure (I’m kidding about those movies, by the way).

Critical Movie Critic Rating:
1 Star Rating: Stay Away


Movie Review: Death Sentence (2007)
Movie Review: War (2007)

The Critical Movie Critics

I'm an old, miserable fart set in his ways. Some of the things that bring a smile to my face are (in no particular order): Teenage back acne, the rain on my face, long walks on the beach and redneck women named Francis. Oh yeah, I like to watch and criticize movies.

'Movie Review: Balls of Fury (2007)' have 12 comments

  1. The Critical Movie Critics

    September 2, 2007 @ 12:21 am Word Hugger

    I work at a movie theater, and 9 out of 10 reviews about this movie are negative.

    9 out of 10, for a hollywood movie… ouch! Looks like you agree

  2. The Critical Movie Critics

    September 2, 2007 @ 8:50 am Sarah L

    I couldn’t agree more with this review. The theater was devoid of any laughter or smiling faces. Everyone thought it was a total waste of time.

  3. The Critical Movie Critics

    September 3, 2007 @ 9:36 pm Stan-Lee

    I agree with you 100%. If someone really wants to watch Balls of Fury they should just go to IGN and watch the trailers, you will see every funny aspect of the movie there. The movie should have wrote itself. I feel that there was a huge lack of effort on this film.

  4. The Critical Movie Critics

    September 7, 2007 @ 11:31 am Carey

    What a shitty movie. Christopher Walken needs a new agent.

  5. The Critical Movie Critics

    September 10, 2007 @ 3:30 pm Lee

    What a shitty movie. Christopher Walken needs a new agent.

    I couldn’t have said it better myself.

  6. The Critical Movie Critics

    November 6, 2007 @ 1:25 pm Independent Film

    Just got to love the name of this film. Unforgettable.

  7. The Critical Movie Critics

    November 6, 2007 @ 1:28 pm Atomic Popcorn

    Agreed ! Trash – glad I got free movie passes for this one.

  8. The Critical Movie Critics

    November 7, 2007 @ 12:36 pm Free

    Another film that looked good from the trailers but that was all best bits in one minute.

    Have to agree completely with your rating!

  9. The Critical Movie Critics

    November 10, 2007 @ 9:07 pm JD Ripper

    Great review! I completely agree with you.

  10. The Critical Movie Critics

    November 12, 2007 @ 6:24 am Sirius Lee

    I was gonna watch it on the strength of having Christopher Walken in the cast. Oh well, guess even the greats can mess up every now and then. Thanks for the heads up, saved me a few hard earned bucks.

  11. The Critical Movie Critics

    January 16, 2008 @ 2:52 pm Nicky Crewe

    I have to say the trailers for Balls of Fury did look good. They managed to pick some good bits and put them together, promoting it as quite a good movie.

    The movie itself is very poor. I would not recommend anyone to waste their time on it.

  12. The Critical Movie Critics

    March 9, 2010 @ 4:19 am Dress

    I loved this film. Very well written, and well performed! I do reccomend it to any1 that like a good comedy!

    The trailer contains only a few parts of a great film!

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