Ping Pong Playa Reviews

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Nora Lee Mandel
November 1, 2008
Gently pokes fun at model minority and athletic stereotypes, but gets repetitive and wears thin before the engaging plot finally kicks into gear.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/10
Edward Douglas
September 2, 2008
Dull, predictable and unoriginal ... the main character is so annoyingly silly it's hard to put up with him for an entire movie.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/10
Nick Schager
Slant Magazine
September 2, 2008
Jessica Yu's film, a 180-degree tonal shift from her previous Protagonist, diligently retreads Adam Sandler and Napoleon Dynamite territory.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
David Cornelius
January 16, 2009
An endless stream of near-misses.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
September 5, 2008
Interest in Playa lies in the fact that director Jessica Yu is a documentarian with a daring taste in subjects. Yet in her first non-doc feature, she plays it safe; even the championship showdown feels polite.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
Top Critic
Andrea Gronvall
Chicago Reader
September 3, 2008
This thin premise can't sustain a feature, and the racial and gay jokes are jarring, but the child actors are cute.
Peter Canavese
Groucho Reviews
February 15, 2009
One way to break down cultural walls is assimilation, and that's where Ping Pong Playa has its dubious triumph: it's just about as generic as the next 'loser makes good by coaching kids' comedy...[Blu-ray]
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Brandon Judell
September 4, 2008
To be perfectly blunt, Ping Pong Playa is third-rate crap. Unfunny crap. Unnecessary crap. This little entertainment is also unintentionally racist, misogynistic, homophobic, poorly acted, and shapeless.
Top Critic
Mark Holcomb
Time Out
September 4, 2008
The setup has been trotted out a million times before, and the movie's novel SoCal Chinese-American milieu only partially excuses the familiarity.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/6
Susan Green
Boxoffice Magazine
September 5, 2008
Very broad humor and sloppy storytelling pave the way to a requisite Rocky ending.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/5
Top Critic
Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
September 5, 2008
A decidedly lightweight amusement, the first comedy from documentary filmmaker Jessica Yu is the sort of movie that works best if you keep your expectations low.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Ella Taylor
L.A. Weekly
September 11, 2008
There's no resisting the movie's antic affability or its irreverence, even with Chris's unavoidable progression toward the mature appreciation of his roots.
September 2, 2008
[W]hen the characters are this charming and the dialogue is this smart, you won't mind watching a little white ball clonk its way from paddle to tabletop and back again.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Leo Goldsmith
August 8, 2009
Mostly a little shrewder about stereotypes than your typical slacker comedy, deriving its edge from Yu and Tsai's mining of the cultural specificity of Asian-America for laughs
Monika Bartyzel
September 29, 2008
If you go into Ping Pong Playa' expecting a light, predictable comedy, it would be hard to come out unsatisfied.
Kam Williams
September 4, 2008
A transparent romance/sports flick whose predictability is easily trumped by the refreshingly appealing parade of well-developed, Asian-American characters who make the movie enjoyable by turning an array of common cinematic stereotypes on their heads.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Diva Velez
September 4, 2008
Bright and hilarious, Ping Pong Playa is a so-silly-it's-smart comedy starring Jimmy Tsai, whose uproarious cinematic id, C-dub, is a character I would be happy to watch for many sequels to come.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Jeff Wong
Film Threat
November 4, 2008
Overall the movie was enjoyable but not amazing.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Jeffrey M. Anderson
Combustible Celluloid
September 4, 2008
A fleet-footed, featherweight comedy riddled with cliches, but nonetheless charming and winning.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Justin Lowe
Hollywood Reporter
September 3, 2008
A winning comedy that entertainingly elevates a low-profile sport.
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