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Review: Cuban Fury

Cuban Fury
04.09.2014
7 10

PLOT: At the age of thirteen, Bruce Garrett was a Salsa champion. With an inspiring instructor and the ability to dance, he had the world at his feet. That is until an unfortunate moment of bullying left him retiring his dancing shoes at far too young an age. As a lonely and out of shape adult, he finds himself once again drawn to the rhythm in hopes to win over his beautiful new boss who happens to love a certain style of dancing... Let’s Salsa!

REVIEW: Two things I’d never imagine seeing together would be Nick Frost and Salsa dancing. Yet here we are with the comedic actor’s latest feature film entitled CUBAN FURY. Portraying a one-time Salsa champion, Frost once again proves to a likable chap, a true blue everyman who exudes charm. The actor has a very uniquely charismatic approach that is suitably aided by a game cast including the always delightful Rashida Jones as well as the incredibly funny Chris O’Dowd. And if that wasn’t enough, there is a ton of music that – whether you are into that sort of style – is nearly impossible to resist.

Frost stars as Bruce Garrett, a kindly sort who seems to have watched his glory years fade into the sunset. At one time, young Bruce (Ben Radcliffe) was a champion Salsa dancer until an unfortunate bout of bullying left him unwilling to dance, much to his instructor Ron Partiff’s dismay – the gruff part is well played by Ian McShane. As an adult Bruce can barely muster the courage to speak to the new boss at his company, the attractive Julia (Rashida Jones). Yet when he discovers that Julia too has a passion for Salsa, he begs the older – and extremely bitter - Partiff to help reawaken that dancer inside him that has been hidden for so many years.

CUBAN FURY begins almost too similar to THE WORLD’S END or even HOT FUZZ. We see a clever bit with young Bruce sweeping awards and sashaying across the screen. Even when he is ridiculed by a group of ruffians there is a slight sense of déjà vu. Unlike the Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg collaborations though, FURY begins to branch out with a surprisingly sweet display of a man getting his groove back. His reintroduction to the world of dancing and his predictable growth works. While clichéd, it is still a pleasant journey made all the more fun by this unusual hero.

Nick Frost presents himself here as an earnest man who you can’t help but root for faults and all. The fact that Frost does most of the dancing himself is all the more impressive. While you sort of miss the chemistry that he shares in previous films with Mr. Pegg, Frost manages to carry the film on his own quite well. Thankfully he is given fine backing by a strong supporting cast including McShane, Jones and O’Dowd. Olivia Colman (HOT FUZZ, “Broad Church”) is especially wonderful as Bruce’s sister, the more screen time this talented actress gets the better. Another standout is the hilarious turn from Keyvan Novak as the ultra-feminine fellow dancer Bejan.

CUBAN FURY is a sweet-natured comedy with an impressively thrilling finale. While Bruce isn’t always the most upstanding character, Frost brings a sense of reality to his exploits. The relationship he forms with his chums as well as his fellow dancers is an appealing one. And yes, that boy can dance! The laughs may not be uproarious but they are consistent enough. With a script by Frost and Jon Brown, director James Griffiths sets the stage for an enjoyable – if predictable – comedy, one which aspires for bigger things. The humor works, yet once the electrifying and pulsating salsa rhythm starts the real fun begins. FURY is a charming little comedy featuring a great soundtrack and an inspired cast that wears its Salsa heart proud.

Source: JoBlo.com

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