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DVDs: Balls Of Fury (Cert 12, Universal Pictures (UK)) *; REVIEWS.

The FBI are desperate to capture criminal mastermind Feng (Christopher Walken).

The only way to get close to the archfiend is to infiltrate a ping-pong tournament that Feng organises every year in his secret jungle lair.

So one-time ping-pong wonderkid Randy Daytona (Dan Fogler) is press-ganged into going deep undercover at Feng's tournament . . . presuming that Randy can recapture his old paddle skills with the help of sage Master Wong (James Hong) and his sexy niece Maggie (Maggie Q).

Balls Of Fury is an underdog story of triumph against adversity, which lazily splices The Karate Kid and Enter The Dragon.

The body count in Robert Ben Garant's ham-fisted yarn is surprisingly high, in inverse proportion to the laughs, which are milked from tired physical comedy like the hero concealing a tiny homing device where the sun don't shine so the FBI can track his movements, so to speak.

Fogler is completely devoid of warmth or charm.

Aside from a brief fight sequence, Maggie Q is little more than eye candy and Hong gamely spouts his wise old coot's repertoire of muddled proverbs.

Walken overacts without shame as the campy villain of the piece, ordering his underlings to "Kill them. We're missing Antiques Roadshow!"
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Apr 19, 2008
Previous Article:DVDs: Smith's great role in unsatisfying film; REVIEWS I Am Legend (Cert 15, Warner Home Video) Balls Of Fury (Cert 12, Universal Pictures (UK)) ***.
Next Article:DVDs: Lions For Lambs (Cert 15, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment) **; REVIEWS.

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