Michael Tully’s third feature is a sweetly amusing ode to underdog sports movies like ‘The Karate Kid’ and the decade that spawned them.
Justin Chang Chief Film Critic
Mixing one part good-natured mockery to two parts affectionate ’80s nostalgia, with a dash of Pixy Stix powder for good measure, “Ping Pong Summer” is a sweetly amusing ode to the underdog sports movies that proliferated during that widely derided decade. But writer-director Michael Tully largely steers clear of derision in this table-tennis-themed homage to “The Karate Kid,” achieving a winning innocence of spirit in which performances and production design are all perfectly synched to his low-key comic vision. A bit woozy and repetitive over its 91-minute running time, the Gravitas Ventures pickup will be a modest B.O. performer but should mark commercial progress for Tully after his microbudget features “Cocaine Angel” and “Septien.”