Ever since the cult hit series Spaced and their break out film Shaun of the Dead Nick Frost and Simon Pegg have been a comedic duo to be reckoned with. Over the last couple of years they have both been branching out doing projects a part and show no sign of slowing down. This time around Nick Frost is leading the charge with the salsa themed comedy Cuban Fury and he is bringing along Rashida Jones, Chris O’Dowd, and Ian McShane but does it have the moves to deliver or will it miss the beat all together?
Cuban Fury follows a 13 year old natural born dancer looking to explode all over the UK Junior Salsa Championships. But then when a bullying incident on the mean streets of London robs him of his confidence, he finds his life diverted down a very different path. Now, 22 years later he is an out-of-shape and unloved - trapped in a downward spiral of self-pity, repression and take-out. That is until his smart, funny, gorgeous new American boss, gives him reason to live. He thinks she's out of his league, until he learns of her secret passion that will force him back into the shoes and onto the dance floor. When the trailers for this film debuted it looked funny, but like one that could be a bit hit or miss. With Nick Frost in the lead some fans will think this movie is going to another over the top silly venture, but in reality there is a lot more here that is both good and bad. The story is simple with a pretty silly backstory that takes a very undramatic situation and turns it into lifelong torment for Frost’s character, which is why it works. This aspect of the story has been told a thousand times in one way or another, but it’s Frost that makes it stand out. The overall story is a bit all over the place trying to find its footing between being a silly comedy or a romantic comedy, but manages to be both as things come together a bit better at the end.
Nick Frost has done a lot of stuff, but getting to see him as the solo leading man is great. He has all the charisma needed to carry the role and obviously the acting chops to deliver. Chris O’Dowd plays the perfect arch-nemesis role bringing all the snarky sleeze to the role without making you completely hate him, but still root for him to be taken down. Rashida Jones is as cute as ever bringing a simplistic nature to the character that isn’t overly complicated and manages to have great chemistry with Frost, which is important for this film to work on any level. One of the other important aspects to this film is the dancing, which Frost pulls off great. He showcased his Sammo Hung like prowess in The World’s End and according to him was helped by his training in this film and you can see the work he put in to pull it off believably.
This film is a bit all over the place at times in trying to find its footing, but once it does it manages to be a pretty funny film with a lot of heart. It’s not breaking any boundaries in the genre, but thanks to this fun cast that might not be who you would expect for a dancing move manages to work fairly well. Any fans of the cast, especially Frost will no doubt have a good time and will really enjoy one specific scene that is so brief but perfectly injected into the film for the fans, but you have to pay close attention or you could miss it.
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