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'Balls of Fury,' 'Brothers Solomon' silly, stupid and cute

 

Last updated 9/20/2007 at Noon



“Balls of Fury” and “The Brothers Solomon” are both silly, stupid and cute and will be enjoyed by the New Millennium generation.

“Fury” feels like being inside of a ping-pong video game where all the characters are one-dimensional with flat personalities and no internal dialogue. Action precedes dialogue and the only time Randy Daytona (portrayed by Dan Fogler) really talks is when he’s reacting to being punched or jumped. He tries to schmooze his way through the rough spots.

The plot is simple: the former Olympic champion has been chosen by FBI Agent Rodriguez (George Lopez) to find the evil Feng (Christopher Walken), who killed his father, and stop him from doing more evil. Randy has nothing better to do; he’s been using his ping-pong talents in a supper club act, probably the funniest part of the movie.

Cut to Chinatown and Randy, the “Round Head” (“Gjuindho,” as Chinese call Westerners), is being taught by the master’s beautiful niece, Maggie Q. All Randy can do is react and do his best. He plays ping-pong with wooden spoons. He didn’t know what he signed up for and it gets worse.

When Randy leaves to play ping-pong at Feng’s in the jungles of Columbia, he doesn’t realize it’s mortal elimination. Then, Feng takes him to his “play to the death” ping-pong electrocution chamber. Feng neglects to tell Randy the ball can bounce off anything and Randy takes a gripping electrical shock from the vest he’s forced to wear.

From an adult perspective, this movie might just mirror the situation developing for the New Millennium trade between China and the West. “Oh, so sorry – lead paint on toy you baby put in mouth.”

“Brothers Solomon” (a.k.a. “the brighter side of autism”) shows how two completely clueless geniuses find Janine (Kristen Wiig), a pizza server trapped in a biracial relationship, to become the surrogate mother of their baby.

John (Will Arnett) and Dean (Will Forte) get away with being politically incorrect because, after all, as idiot savants (the politically incorrect term for those with autism) they cannot be held responsible for what they say or do.

It all stems from environment. Imagine being raised on a bright polar icecap where both brothers become experts at collecting and analyzing polar ice core samples. Their father Ed (Lee Majors) reared them at the North Pole, which is why they drive a car like a snowmobile, baby-proof their apartment with items one might use to stop an avalanche and view women as prey to be hunted using stupid, senseless techniques in an urban setting. John meets his date and gives her father a big, wet, slow kiss that leaves a drizzle of saliva between them.

Somehow both brothers always come through, finding Janine when she changes her mind and wants to keep their baby by flying a long – and it’s long – sign in their town asking her to come back. It’s an unconventional ploy, but this isn’t “Leave it to Beaver” or “The Bionic Man.” This is finding the silver lining in the growing world of adult autism where abnormal is very normal and kind of cute. Sort of like finding the silver lining in Alzheimer’s, if that’s possible.

Coincidentally, John and Dean sport a ping-pong table in their living room next to their dad, who is on life-support in a coma. Hopefully, ping-pong will make a furious return and get the New Millennium generation out of their video comas and onto the table holding paddle and ball ready for action.

 

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