Walken on empty
BALLS OF FURY Directed by Robert Ben Garant. Starring Dan Fogler, Christopher Walken, George Lopez, Maggie Q, James Hong, Robert Patrick 12A cert, gen release, 90 min
SOME movies are beyond redemption, to the point where even the presence of Christopher Walken can’t save them, even though he tries gamely in Balls of Fury. Unfortunately, Walken doesn’t come in until the halfway point; even more unfortunately, the focus of the film is on the utterly gormless Dan Fogler from Good Luck Chuck.
A prologue introduces Randy Daytona as a 12-year-old tabletennis whizz representing the US at the 1988 Olympics. His fellow Americans, among them Ronald and Nancy Reagan, watch the final on TV, and when Daytona stumbles, he goes from hero to laughing stock. Flash forward to 2007, and Daytona (now played by Fogler) is reduced to performing in two-bit stage shows for bored tourists in Reno when the FBI recruits him for a top secret mission.
Groomed by a blind trainer (James Hong), Daytona returns to competitive table tennis to infiltrate the headquarters of gangster and ping-pong aficionado Feng (Walken), who hosts a tournament for an audience of criminal friends. Sporting extravagant coiffure, Walken is dressed in flamboyant costumes that may have been rejects from Memoirs of a Geisha.
Daytona is the butt of the movie’s puerile humour, forced to wear an uncomfortably large FBI homing device inside his body, and repeatedly subjected to genital torture. Balls of Fury is as tacky-looking as it is silly, but not at all silly enough to be funny.
The soundtrack is peppered with Def Leppard songs; one, Pour Some Sugar On Me, is performed by the cast over the closing credits.
Chris as Feng: sleep Walken