Nick Frost may seem like the most unlikely of choices to anchor a movie called Cuban Fury that is about someone who is passionate about salsa dancing. His casting is perfect on two fronts: It provides fantastic comic opportunities and also has that payoff potential that audiences want from a story that has someone redeeming themselves and triumphing over adversity.
We meet 13-year-old Bruce in the 1980s and he is enthralled with the world of salsa dancing. He and his sister join forces to become one of England’s most talented pairs who win every award there is to win for their age group on the way to the national title. On the evening of the national championship while his sister and coach (Ian McShane) await his arrival, Bruce is sauntering towards the arena when he is made fun of by a group of bullies for his sequined shirt and given a good beating.
He runs home, throws his dancing shoes in the trash, lights them on fire and promptly leaves that world behind.
Fast forward to the present and Bruce is Frost, a heavy-set man content with his job as a machinery salesman who has not too much of a life beyond that. His sister is a cocktail waitress who appears to be his only confidant besides a couple of guys that he hits golf balls with occasionally.
When a new American starts at his company (Rashida Jones) as his boss and she talks about her passion for salsa dancing, Bruce wants to dust off those dancing feet and thinks he may have a way to win her heart. But, he has to deal with Chris O’Dowd, a co-worker who always seems to find a way to make Bruce look bad. With the help of his old dance teacher, who quite reluctantly agrees to help him, our salsa man may just not only win the girl, but another dancing competition along the way.
Frost is one of our favorite comedic actors working today. His work with Simon Pegg is well documented (Pegg even has a blink and you’ll miss it cameo in Cuban Fury), but on his own, Frost’s talents are perfectly suited to roles such as this one in Cuban Fury and we adored him in Pirate Radio.
There is something truly unique about the Brit’s talent of playing aw-shucks guys who we truly pull for to not only get the girl, but outsmart the bully and triumph over what stands in his way. And as we stated, (and it can even be seen in the Cuban Fury trailer) the film allows Frost to do just that and the role and this film fit him like a perfectly tailored sequined shirt.
Jones shows her comic mettle (she, after all, is one of our 21 funniest women in movies) and both her and Frost do fantastic dance work, both on the dance floor and with their repartee. And Dowd is impeccably cast as the jerk. Normally he’s the lovable guy (he of a few fantastic Bridesmaids quotes), but you really do not like him one bit in Cuban Fury.
The dance sequences are elaborate and electric. And one thing is for sure when you leave the theater after watching the film, our Cuban Fury review can state, you might just want to pick up salsa dancing yourself. Or, at least go out and buy the killer soundtrack.
In the mood for a dance movie, right now? Watch Step Up Revolution online and prepare to bust a move!