Leaving Simon Pegg behind for a little while, Nick Frost takes on a role that had him in training for months.
A child dancing prodigy leaves the world of professional dance behind after he gets horribly bullied and beaten up. As an adult. Bruce Garrett resigned himself to being an ordinary “sad sack” office drone. But after meeting his beautiful new boss Julia, and learning about her love for salsa dancing, he decides to try give dancing another shot and get back on the dance floor to win her heart. However, he must fight Drew, his annoying, sleazy and loathsome co-worker, who not only set his sights on Julia, but started to dance as well.
The opening scene to his adult life sets the expectations high, the viewers see Frost spooning yoghurt from four mini-tubs set which sure to get massive belly laughs from all. Sadly, the rest of the film doesn’t meet those expectations set by the yogurt scene.
While the comedic settings are funny, especially those involving Garrett’s new flamboyant friend and “stylist” Bejan, as well as the “dance-off” between Bruce and Drew on top of a parking lot, many of the in between scenes feel like fillers. Adding a few more dance or comical settings would not have gone astray. In fact, I would say for a movie with such a title and premise, I would have expected more dancing to be involved.
Chris O’Dowd (Bridesmaids) character is memorable, mostly due to him playing the arrogant, self absorbed character so sleazy and ridiculous that no one could possibly want him to get the girl. He does showcase some impressive moves he picked up during his training though. Also, he sticks out like a sore thumb among a cast of mostly British men, which is odd as plenty of actors/actresses do cross over to foreign films without having that effect.
Nick Frost delivers a solid good performance. He plays the character naturally and is engaging, viewers do genuinely will want the best for him. What is really evident in this role, is his ability (and timing) to find comic details in the most mundane action we all undertake on a daily basis. I have to mention the fact that too many have commented about his weight being used for comedy, which baffles me. Neither his character, nor any other character in the story line ever mentions or even implies anything about his body type. He certainly busted some dance moves with ease, and possibly better than most of us would.
Rashida Jones is charming in her role as the tough but slightly awkward foreign boss Julia, however, the character is really underdeveloped. It is almost possible to forget her character is in the movie, despite the fact that she is the reason Garret chooses to change his life. Kayvan Novak is hilarious as the gay flat fanta loving dancer that ends up taking Garrett under his wing. I would even say, he is one of the highlights in the film.
Plot is at times silly and absolutely predictable. It plays out like a scenario we’ve all seen before – will the underdog get the girl, or the sleazy bad boy? This film won’t turn into a cult classic and won’t win any awards, but it is an enjoyable film that is funny and should be considered as light entertainment. Might even leave you wanting to get a couple of salsa dance classes afterwards.
I would recommend seeing this on a date, or on cheap Tuesdays to save yourself the the expensive admission price. I rate it 5 out of 10 stars.
Cuban Fury hits cinemas on the 20th of March.