Cuban Fury review by George Hooper - Cinema Paradiso
In the time Nick Frost has been gracing our screens his comedy has never really changed, sure in Spaced he was a little nuttier than the average Frost character but he still infused his comedy with the same kind of pacing and delivery we know him well for. Cuban Fury replays many of his old classics and displays them like they are something new and magical. It doesn’t take long for this to become abundantly clear, especially when the films premise is so completely idiotic.
Cuban Fury follows Bruce (Frost), a regular office worker who is living a life of routine as he hides behind his quiet life from the things he left behind a long time ago. However when Julia (Rashida Jones) arrives at work he finds himself reawakening something inside him as he remembers his days as a salsa dancer in his youth. With this new found confidence and vigour he decides to get out of his rut and reignite his passion for salsa.
While the film has some interesting dance sequences and a great antagonistical bromance going between Frost and Chris O’Dowd who plays his competitive and ever so slightly annoying co worker Drew, the film never has the guts to take any risks, its jokes are stale and it seems like director James Griffiths knows it. He hides the comedy behind layers of subtext and avoids delivering the punchlines instead option to concentrate on the music, the rhythm of the film and while thats commendable to think about movement and pacing in a film about dance it does mean the film isn’t actually a comedy.
Although a supporting role by Ian McShane seems to suggest otherwise as he makes even bad jokes entertaining this is strictly a romance and while most would believe it is between Bruce and Julia I’m here to tell you it is Bruce’s love of dance that really makes this film watchable as Frost really gets into it, embracing every little moment of athleticism and oddly enough, sex appeal. My point is, stay for the dancing, cringe at the humour.