Synopsis: Beneath Bruce Garrett’s under-confident, overweight exterior, the passionate heart of a salsa king lies dormant. Now, one woman is about to reignite his Latin fire.
Given the comedy pedigree involved in Cuban Fury there is no reason for it to be laugh out loud funny all the way through. Unfortunately it never gets above sweet and well meaning, which just isn’t enough for a film which was heavily marketed as a riotous British comedy.
Set in the world of competitive salsa, Cuban Fury is Nick Frost’s first real attempt to carry a whole film on his broad loveable bear shoulders without any assistance from his comedy partner Simon Pegg. Frost takes on the role of Bruce, a former child salsa star who, after a scarring incident as a sequined pubescent boy, is left full of talent but not heart for dancing. All that changes when his new boss (Rashida Jones) turns up and reveals her love of salsa, spurring him back into action. Nothing is ever straightforward though and sabotaging his efforts at every turn is douchebag love rival Drew (Chris O’Dowd).
It’s a valiant effort from Frost to carry a film, but Cuban Fury lays bare his shortcomings as a leading man. There is no doubting his natural comedy chops and when required to be loveable he can pull out a cheeky grin and an “aww shucks” face. But he is too limited in his acting range to carry the emotional range of a film from start to finish. It’s a shame because even surrounded by high quality comedy talent in O’Dowd, Jones and Olivia Colman as his sister, none of the jokes or set pieces get above a chuckle and in the end the story is too generic to compensate.
Conclusion: A nice idea and some sweet moments but it is in the end just another British comedy dance movie. Something we seem to have a few of
Cast: Nick Frost, Rashida Jones, Chris O’Dowd