Starring: Nick Frost, Rashida Jones, Chris O’Dowd
Director: James Griffiths
Running Time: 98 mins
Cuban Fury is a British film about a former child salsa dancer who falls in love with his new boss at an engineering firm. Once he discovers she too shares a passion for salsa, he attempts to get back in form, but he faces stiff competition from one of his co-workers.
This film is no less nor a any more than I expected. A ‘sports’ romantic comedy isn’t meant to provide great thrills, nor is it meant to be a riotous laugh. Nick Frost and his co stars do a good job to make this film as fun as possible, but in truth, Cuban Fury is nothing you haven’t seen before.
However, let’s start on the bright side, with the central performances. Nick Frost is great in the lead role, and brings his excellent brand of physical comedy without Simon Pegg alongside. The film is written by him, and I do have issues with the script’s humour, but Frost is a fantastic energetic presence on screen, and his performance goes a long way to making this an enjoyable watch.
Meanwhile, the supporting performances are all great too. Although she’s given a fairly generic character, Rashida Jones is delightful as Frost’s love interest, whilst Chris O’Dowd and Olivia Colman also impress with some properly funny performances.
The other good thing about the film is its atmosphere. Embracing itself as a light rom-com, Cuban Fury is actually surprisingly full of life and energy. The salsa soundtrack works well throughout, and the array of colourful outfits and settings make it even more enjoyable.
The dance scenes themselves, however, aren’t the best. As I said, they do look nice, but they go on for far too long, don’t really add to the pace of the story, nor much emotion or passion to the central relationship, which was a shame to see.
The biggest problem with Cuban Fury is unfortunately the story. I’m not expecting storytelling genius from a film like this, and the enjoyable vibes help to rectify the plot’s problems, however this film isn’t particularly innovative or engrossing in any way.
When the comedy isn’t working at its best, the generic sports-style story is frustrating to see, and in tandem with a very predictable, and not particularly emotionally engaging romance, the film can feel like a bit of a shallow drag at times.
On the whole, Cuban Fury was more or less what I expected. It’s an enjoyable watch, thanks to great performances and good directing, but its mediocre script doesn’t help it to break out from the worst tropes of the romantic comedy genre. If you’re a fan of the mainstream genre, this will be a fun watch, but it’s nothing particularly special or memorable, and that’s why I’m giving it a 6.9.