Cuban Fury Review
Hilarious British comedy Cuban Fury (15) sees Nick Frost lead the way as a middle-aged man determined to re-train as a salsa dancer in order to impress the girl of his dreams!
What’s It About? At 13 years old, Bruce (Frost) was a salsa prodigy – a natural born dancer with fire in his heels! But following a traumatic encounter with a group of bullies he lost his drive and 20 years later we re-discover our hero as a lonely, overweight office-worker tormented by his alpha-male manager Drew (Chris O’Dowd). However, when Bruce discovers his sexy new boss Julia (Rashida Jones) has a secret passion for salsa, he decides to track down his old dance teacher and get back in the salsa-dancing game.
Verdict: On paper you might think a film about a salsa child star wouldn’t be so funny but Cuban Fury’s dry, self-aware British humour and all-star cast ensure many more-than-your-average laugh-out-loud moments. Nick Frost gives a great performance as the hapless yet lovable Bruce, but it’s Chris O’Dowd who steals the show as the utterly intolerable, borderline sex-pest Drew. O’Dowd brings Irish charm everywhere he goes and even when he’s creepily trying to seduce the new boss or taking part in an awkward and impromptu dance-off, you can guarantee he’ll be making the audience laugh.
The smaller characters are also entirely on point; particularly Bruce’s sassy gay friend Bejan (Kayvan Novak) who he meets at salsa class, and Gary (Rory Kinnear), a long-standing friend who’s kept out of the loop of Bruce’s new endeavour – resulting in some hilarious mishaps and an uplifting conclusion. Despite a slightly out-there narrative, the characters are all brilliantly self-aware and create a sense of realism amongst the chaos.
As well as being funny and entertaining, Cuban Fury is incredibly heartwarming. Bruce provides a great unlikely hero and you’ll be rooting for him throughout, which makes the final climax all the more powerful. Love interest Julia is key to his decision to rediscover dancing, but the story is ultimately about Bruce finding his confidence again, and one of the reasons the film plays so well is because there isn’t too much focus on the lovey-dovey fluff. The salsa music also adds something fresh and different to your run-of-the-mill comedy and creates a fast-paced theme throughout as Nick Frost’s seven months of training clearly pays off and he dances his socks off like a true professional.
Final Words: Cuban Fury has all the qualities of a comedy hit; the story is strong, the performances seamless and there are a multitude of laugh-out-loud moments. However, the thing that really sets Cuban Fury above the rest is that, ultimately, it has heart at its core and the audience will leave the cinema with a warm and fuzzy feeling alongside the urge to salsa all the way home!
Also be sure to keep an eye out for a very brief but familiar face!
Cuban Fury (15) is released in UK cinemas on 14 February 2014