Saturday, September 25, 2010

Balls of Fury. F

There's a reason Dan Fogler hasn't done much to bolster his career since Balls of Fury came out in 2007. Fogler was given his big shot with that project to show he had the talent carry a comedy. His pudgy stature, innocent smile, and abrupt spouts of rambunctiousness are clearly his selling points. He looks and acts like he wants to be the next Jack Black, which actually is a red alert to stay clear of his false theatrical banter. Fogler is sickeningly unfunny, not because he has zero talent, but because his act is completely transparent. We see from the get-go he's in desperation mode, trying to be as funny as possible to cover up his lack of natural talent. And I suppose that in his big chance, Fogler was thrown into a lousy project like Balls of Fury indicates that no one really thought he had much of a career as the next pop funny man. The movie itself, which is like a kung fu parody with ping pong, is even worse that Fogler's performance. It's one of those disastrous comedies where laughs are literally non-existent and actors strut about embarrassing their real-life image. The plot involves a paunchy former child table tennis star, a blind ping pong master, his physically flawless niece, an FBI agent, and last but not least, the flamboyant ping pong ruler, Feng. He's played by Christopher Walken in a very publicized performance. But as great an actor as he is, he can't save this film. In fact, he makes it worse simply because it's hard to fathom why he was in it. It must have something to do with the fact that Walken only reads his part in the script before taking a role. It's pretty much futile to point how implausible the movie is, especially during that final "ping pong battle," but there's nothing wrong with pummeling the rest of the movie. It definitely deserves it.

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