Reading the weekly indie newspaper? That's a paddlin'. Picking up passes in a leather shop? That's a paddlin'. Seeing an advanced screening of Balls of Fury Monday night? Ooh, you better believe that's a paddlin'. (See it in Spanish! In German!)
When it comes to shameless comedy, there's a fine line between brilliance and idiocy, and this movie veers sharply toward the latter, opting for gross-out humor over the merely absurd. Made by the people behind Reno 911!, it tries to match the buffoonery of Blades of Glory but falls significantly short. (If anything, it reminded me of Reno 911!: Miami.)
Watching this film, you can't help but think that Will Ferrell should be involved somehow, but he's not. (Society has yet to quantify his value in non-monetary terms, but maybe we can measure his absence here.) Instead we have some guy (Dan Fogler), a washed up table tennis player and Def Leppard fanatic who failed miserably as a kid in the 1988 Olympics. The contrived plot has him help the FBI corner an arms dealer (Christopher Walken) who arranges underground ping pong death matches in his spare time. That's the premise; you're either on board or not.
There is some eye candy: Aisha Tyler is Walken's evil Amazonian sidekick, gorgeous as ever and a serious upgrade over, say, Grace Jones in A View to a Kill. (Beautiful, talented, and a Dartmouth grad. What more could you want?) Then there's Maggie Q as the love interest; she's even skinnier than she was in Mission: Impossible III. I certainly hope she was paid handsomely to kiss this guy. (Warning: seriously ugly dude. NSFE=not safe for eyes.)