Out Now On-Demand
Nick Frost (Shaun of the Dead, The World's End) stars as Bruce, a chubby Londoner who was once hailed as a teen salsa dancing prodigy until a bullying incident cut his career short. 22 years later, the arrival of a new boss (Parks & Recreation's Rashida Jones) encourages Bruce back on to the dancefloor.
Out of shape and down on his luck, Bruce (Frost) bears little resemblance to his once-promising younger salsa-loving self, but he's inspired to rediscover his long lost talent to impress beautiful new American boss Julia (Jones). Meanwhile, office alpha male Drew (Chris O'Dowd, Bridesmaids) is also vying for Julia's attention and tries every dirty trick in the book to thwart Bruce's efforts. Supporting cast includes Ian McShane, Rory Kinnear, Kayvan Novak, Olivia Colman, Bridesmaids' Wendi McLendon-Covey and SNL's Rachel Dratch and Liz Cackowski.
- James Griffiths(feature debut)
Rating: M Offensive language and sexual references
There’s a type of lazy high concept comedy that thrives on casting people in unexpected roles. Hey, it’s Will Ferrell as a basketballer/ice skater/soccer coach! Kevin James is a MMA fighter/zookeeper/comedian that audiences are somehow supposed to find funny! On first impression it’s easy to write Cuban Fury off as being in the same vein, with portly UK funny man Nick Frost donning a salsa dancer’s sequins and busting out some sweet moves. That would ignore several important points though – those sorts of films are often actually pretty hilarious, Cuban Fury is more grounded than most high concept comedy and also has a surprisingly larger heart.
While there’s still the whiff of the faintly ridiculous here and there – and the fully ridiculous when Frost squares off against workplace nemesis Chris O’Dowd in a spectacular dance-fight – the film doesn’t require an instant transformation of its hero as much as a reigniting of a former passion. Although downtrodden, unfulfilled and bullied, as engineer Bruce, Frost is no massive loser and Cuban Fury never sets up the Hollywood expectation that he’s going to turn into a massive winner either.
While we’re not used to seeing Frost take top billing, he makes for a great lead and enjoys strong chemistry with his supporting cast, in particular mentor Ian McShane and O’Dowd. With the latter Frost is subjected to some hilarious bullying in what is a highly entertaining turn from the usually likeable actor clearly relishing his chance to play an asshole. When all’s said and done, Cuban Fury doesn’t pack many surprises, apart from the sheer enjoyment that comes from watching it – and that’s just fine.
Total Film (UK)
Time Out London
At The Movies (Australia)
A fun, easy comedy with a bit of heart but not in the league of Frost's past partnering with Pegg.
Cuban Fury tells the story of an overweight man trying to reclaim the hotstepping moves of youth. It's nice, and occasionally funny, but will disappoint many who expected more from half a Cornetto.
Feel good comedy
Some good one liners (Type 2 diabetes) make this feel good comedy a winner and gets you leaving the theatre with a grin on your face.
Hot 'n Frosty
This film is funnier than it should be. Much funnier. Sooooooo much funnier.
I can't express how bad this film should be, but then isn't. I mean, this should be the equivalent of a Adam Sandler/Kevin James film. Slowly sucking the life out of the audience while they sit there cutting themselves to feel anything, wondering how it ever got made and most importantly why they went. But it isn't. It's good. And fun. And actually funny.
It's not Shaun of the Dead or Hot Fuzz, but there's something about Nick Frost that puts a smile on my face the second I see him on screen and it doesn't leave until about an hour after the film ends. Maybe it's all the good will from his work with Simon Pegg, perhaps it's the chemistry he has with Chris O'Dowd or, God forgive me, maybe he's just funny.
Whatever it is, it's made Cuban Fury an enjoyable romp that's suitable for everyone. I know
I'm glad I went.