The cheerfully dumb "Balls of Fury" thumbs its nose at sports movies, underground fighting tournament flicks, and squares in the audience. It's schlocky and tasteless but also good-natured and harmless, and the people who come out to see it will get just what they want: 90 minutes of freewheeling, switch-off-your-brain laughs.
"Reno 911" creators Thomas Lennon and Ben Garant wrote the script, or rather slapped it together from gags scribbled while they watched "The Karate Kid" and "Rocky III." The secret to screwball comedy, as to ping-pong, is to keep lobbing fast and furious, and director Garant mostly succeeds in keeping the gags flying.
Dan Fogler, a hefty, mop-haired muppet, stars as Randy Daytona, a onetime ping-pong prodigy humiliated in the 1988 Olympics and now a has-been performer in a dreary Reno lounge. Recruited by the FBI to join the high-stakes tournament convened by criminal mastermind Feng (Christopher Walken), he hones his rusty skills with master Wong (James Hong), who melds Mr. Miyagi with Mr. Magoo. Wong's hotter-than-Szechwan niece Maggie (Maggie Q) begins as his training partner but quickly becomes the bumbling Randy's sweetheart. With her encouragement he goes mano-a-paddle with Olympic nemesis Karl Wolfschtagg (Lennon) in a showdown where loss means literal sudden death.