Back in 1988, Randy Daytona (Brett DelBuono) was the golden boy of ping-pong, and loves Def Leppard so much, he uses “Rock of Ages” as his personal theme . He’s already famous the world over and is slated to start raking in the huge endorsement deals. At his Olympic competition, his father (Robert Patrick) mentions how he has struck a betting deal with a mysterious group of men, led by an even more mysterious figure. Yep, Randy has to win, no matter what. Nice pressure to put on a kid, right? As if he doesn’t already have enough on his plate. In his anger and upset, as well as his overly aggressive German opponent (Thomas Lennon), he chokes. It?s well-known that his father is taken away and killed shortly after.
After almost 20 years, Randy (Dan Fogler) is now a has-been forcing himself to put on a hokey act at a moderately priced dinner theatre in Reno, where people definitely care more about the cheap food. Randy is so racked with self-pity, guilt and disgust, he really doesn’t care about anything. FBI Agent Ernie Rodriguez (George Lopez) tracks Randy down and talks about a crime syndicate that they are investigating. They are led by Feng, the very man who orchestrated the death of his father. Feng’s plans revolve around a ruse of a secret, invitation only, ping-pong tournament. Rodriguez wants to bring Randy in to infiltrate the tournament.
Anyway, Randy is so rusty that he has to relearn the basics of the game, tutored by Master Wong (James Hong) and his niece, Maggie (Maggie Q) in the same building as Wong’s restaurant. Down the line, Randy starts to get his skills and confidence back, and, lo and behold, he gets an invitation to the tournament. He has a few scores to settle with his old competitor and Feng (Christopher Walken), himself. Hence, the title!
Yeah, there were tons of dopey lines, action movie clich?s, and endless displays of frathouse humor, but it was a cute movie, I’ll give it that. I doubt that it will be memorable enough to be in anyone’s list of favorites, but it is what it is. My verdict? If you don’t want to use your brain and get a few mindless laughs, dish out the money. Personally, since I thought it was pretty juvenile, wait until it comes out on DVD.
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