What’s It About? Bruce Garrett (Nick Frost) is out of shape and without love, trapped in a spiral of self-pity and take-away food. His new American boss Julia (Rashida Jones) is smart, funny and very gorgeous, but way out of his league. More in the league of horny monkey-king of the office Drew (Chris O’Dowd). But one day Bruce spies her taking salsa lessons and sees a way to her heart. However, as a former UK Junior Salsa Champion who was cruelly robbed of his confidence during a bullying incident in his teens, he must rediscover the snakes in his hips and the fire in his heels to win over Julia and regain that salsa passion.
Verdict: Nick Frost steps away from his regular threesome with Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright to write and star in his own film. Cuban Fury is a rom-com that shapes itself around the salsa dance floor and the type of person who wouldn’t normally be seen dead near a pair of heeled shoes never mind a sequined top, but Frost takes this on with gusto. The film keeps a constant 8-rhythm speed on the storyline, never slowing down to take a breather. There really isn’t too much story yet it’s not needed as Bruce’s rejuvenation zips along at break-neck speed. From the start, his work and personal life show what a sad sack he is, yet he’s the type of loveable down-on-his-luck male that film studios love to prove can be a winner in life and love. Sure, the film may be formulaic in its zero-to-hero treatment, but when it’s this much fun and the cast all appear to be having such a ball, it’s almost impossible not to be swept up in the sequins and dance moves.
Frost shows dynamite enthusiasm for every scene he’s in, especially the dancing, proving he really is a leading man. Ian McShane fuses Mr Miyagi with Al Swearengen to give a cynical, aggressive and sweary performance as Bruce’s old salsa teacher, and looks to be having fun as he chews up the scenery with his constant bites at those he deems unworthy of being near him. Olivia Colman and Kayvan Novak sit in the background initially but soon become part of the comedic tapestry of Cuban Fury, Novak delivering some real killer lines with deadpan style. O’Dowd enjoys plumbing new, dirty depths with choice language that should make his character a hated figure but he’s actually funny because of his bravado. Disappointingly, Jones feels underused in a story that essentially revolves around her beauty and appeal.
Extras: Behind-the-scenes features, Feet of Fury, out-takes, deleted scene, stills gallery, and cast commentary.
Final Words: Nick Frost shows his delicate twinkle toes of Terpsichore whilst navigating the constant funny throughout the film. A sparkling cast make this a truly delightful watch with added heart and bundles of humour. This is one of the best British comedies in recent years. The score’s on the board, read it – A HIT!!
Cuban Fury is out on DVD, Blu-ray & VOD on 9 June 2014.