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Balls of Fury Review Critics


Dave White Profile

… full of dead space … Read full review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 2.0

    out of 100

    Generally unfavorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 0

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    A joke of a title in search of a movie with a single good joke.

    Read Full Review

  • 38

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    Balls of Fury makes "Dodgeball" look like high art. It'll be tough to crack a smile, let alone laugh, during this uninspired and sophomoric satire of sports movies.

    Read Full Review

  • 60

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Sheri Linden

    The good news is that Christopher Walken, resplendent in purple silk, isn't the film's sole redeeming element. The bad news is that even his arch-villain can't save Balls of Fury from losing bounce as the story proceeds.

    Read Full Review

  • 63

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    The first movie combining Ping-Pong and kung-fu and co-starring Maggie Q. How many could there be?

    Read Full Review

  • See all Balls of Fury reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 13+

Slapstick ping-pong comedy has very slight bounce.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that although this vapid slapstick comedy from the creators of Reno 911! will appeal to tweens and teens, its humor is tinged with a grim undercurrent: The main character is avenging his father's death at the hands of a murderous -- if seemingly ridiculous -- letch. There are also Chinese stereotypes (one character carries a lucky cricket and dispenses with enemies using chopsticks) and a fair bit of violence, mostly cartoonish and without blood. The movie clearly has its tongue firmly in cheek, which takes the edge off the crudest humor, but it's still sex-and-body-part based.

  • Families can talk about the appeal of underdog stories. Why are films that depict a character's triumphant rise so compelling? In real life, do you think people are more interested in stories like that or in watching heroes crash and burn (the way young Randy fails at the Olympics)? What role does the media play in that process? Also, how does seeing sports on TV affect your perception of them? Do televised events overemphasize the drama, or are they merely mirroring what actually exist? Do you think ping-pong could be that hyper-competitive? What other sports looks calm when in fact they aren't?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: Characters, including Dayton's father, bet on ping-pong; Wong berates Daytona constantly; concubines offer themselves up for sex. Some jokes are based on Asian stereotypes; others are homophobic. But the main character, Randy, is a soft-hearted, genuine guy.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: Includes gunplay, electrocution, murder by poison dart, and even a bomb going off. But it's largely played for laughs, and viewers don't see blood.

  • sex false3

    Sex: A couple kisses passionately, and she wraps her legs around him; in the scene in which male concubines are presented, one insists on spending the night; sounds of a couple having sex in another room. References to various characters' sexual preferences, though nothing really explicit is said. Plenty of scantily clad women. Men grope Maggie at the ping-pong training center, though she's able to fend them off with martial arts.

  • language false3

    Language: Fairly mild: "ass," "bull-poop," "bitch," "hell," "snot," etc.

  • consumerism false3

    Consumerism: ESPN clips; mentions of the Olympics; references to Def Leppard and the band's hit songs.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Some drinking and smoking in gambling dens and bars.