Friday, April 11, 2014

Review: Cuban Fury

Release date: April 11, 2014
Running time: 98 minutes
Starring: Nick Frost, Rashida Jones, Chris O'Dowd, Olivia Colman, Kayvan Novak
Who to see it with: Someone who loves the Cornetto Trilogy


Bruce Garrett (Frost) used to be an international salsa dancing sensation, until a run in with some teenagers squelched the fire under his feet and ended his love affair with Latin dance. However, when he uncovers that his attractive new boss (Jones) also loves the dance of fire, he's determined to rekindle the flame of salsa to win her over. If this sounds like a ridiculous premise, it's because it is. The premise of the film makes no sense but it doesn't have to. The film itself is surprisingly funny and Frost is a loveable character that you want to see succeed. He's joined by a funny supporting cast including his sister (Colman) and a surprisingly outrageous friend / dance companion in Novak. All the characters are over the top, especially Garrett's teacher (played by Ian McShane), and are enjoyable to watch. I didn't care much for Garrett's coworker (played by O'Dowd); I know that he's supposed to be an annoying antagonist but at some point his antics went from being annoying to being absurd.

As I said before, the film has a pretty ridiculous premise and, as a result, the plot is equally comical. But it's supposed to be and it works for this film. Like the dance that inspired the film, the pacing is steady with very little slow down. The dialog is mostly sharp with what appears to be a nice mix of written dialog and improvised content. And, since the film is based on dancing, the dancing itself is mostly enjoyable. Frost, understandably, does not shine as a dancer but the film does what it can to minimize you noticing. He does an admirable job trying to showcase this difficult dance, but there are some noticeable moments that just look off. But, that being said, part of the draw of the film is seeing Frost do the salsa and for fans looking for that won't be disappointed. In the end, Cuban Fury is a ridiculous, but funny, movie that fans of the Cornetto Trilogy should definitely check out.

Watch it.

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