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Dan the Man's Movie Reviews

All my aimless thoughts, ideas, and ramblings, all packed into one site!

Cuban Fury (2014)


Sorry, C-Tates, but the Brits may have this one.

Bruce Garrett (Nick Frost) used to be a huge-lover of dancing. One in particular – salsa dancing. He and his sister (Olivia Colman) were dance partners, who were coached by a dance legend (Ian McShane), and were destined for great and wonderful things in the world of dancing. However, at around age 13, Bruce lost all interest when he was beaten-up by a bunch of bullies who consider him a bit of a “wuss” for wanting to wear tight-clothing, prissy-shoes and dance his fanny off. Right away, this took Bruce away from the idea of dancing, and more towards the idea of just being an average Joe. Fast forward many years later, and well, that’s exactly what he is – he’s single, works a dead-end, 9-to-5 job, has a co-worker he can’t stand (Chris O’Dowd), and hangs with a bunch of buddies who only talk about girls they think are hot, despite them all being married and with kids. However, one shine of light walks into his life with a new boss of his (Rashida Jones), who, believe it or not, actually has an interest in salsa dancing herself. This is when Bruce decides that it’s time to go back to his old ways and start moving and grooving his rump, all in hopes to win the girl of his dreams. The only problem is that it’s been quite awhile since he’s stepped foot on a dance-floor, which not only means he’s a bit rusty, but also out-of-shape. Way, WAY out-of-shape, to be exact.

Eyes ahead, buddy!

Eyes ahead, buddy!

We’ve all seen Nick Frost before, usually as the lovable, goofy side-kick that is there to serve the story, but isn’t necessarily the one our main focus-point is on. Which, for most people, including Frost himself, is fine. There are just some actors and actresses out there who are better served as supporting-players that are there for rare delights, rather than being the center of attention, where they are more than likely going to be spoiled after about an-hour-and-a-half of just them.

But, seeing as how Frost has been in the game for quite some time, it makes sense that now he would get the chance to be the star of his own show, and what a unique show it is to see him apart of. Never thought I’d imagine him dancing, nor did I imagine him playing the straight-man, but here he is: Not only doing a lot of salsa dancing, but barely ever cracking a joke that doesn’t fall flat on its face like it is supposed to. It’s strange to see anybody whom we often proclaim as being “the goof-ball”, not be as such, but Frost, believe it or not, does well with it.

Then again, he isn’t given too much else to do other than just be charming, while also being a normal-person, but he handles it all fine. Heck, even the dancing, which, from what I hear, is mostly him, is impressive as well. Definitely didn’t seem like an easy-feet, given the fact that he is, strictly speaking, not in the best shape for being a salsa dancing, but that clearly didn’t get in the way of being apart of this movie. He’s happy he’s starring in it and the feeling is mutual.

Overall, it’s a pretty happy movie.

That’s why it’s hard to come down on a movie like this for being so conventional and obvious. You can tell every note that’s going to hit, from a mile away and there are almost no surprises. Maybe even worse, is that it’s not really all that funny. There’s many jokes made at the fact that dancing is sort of, kind of, maybe not for straight-dudes who are in touch with their masculinity and the ladies they bring to their bed every night, and by now, they all seem a bit tired. Even the character of Bejan, an ultra-feminine fellow dancer, played charmingly by Keyvan Novak, seems like the kind of “gay best-friend”-type you’d get in a rom-com. The only difference of him being here is that he just so happens to be the gay-friend of another male, but that’s just about it. Nothing else is really be out-of-the-ordinary, or even shocking for that matter.

Popped-collar? What a dick.

Popped-collar? Total dick.

Instead, where this movie’s strong-suit really lies in, is the fact that it’s cast is having a fun time. In fact, the one I’d say whom is having the most fun out of all is Chris O’Dowd as Bruce’s co-worker who is an absolute and total dick. It’s actually the role we don’t see O’Dowd too often play, but believe it or not, he’s actually quite great in it and it’s nice to see him shake things up a bit. Maybe he’s a bit too over-the-top with the nasty and cruel things he says to a person, almost to the point of where you don’t even believe that he’s never gotten socked in the face recently by anyone, but I feel like that’s more of just how far O’Dowd may have been willing to go with his improvisations. Also, I can’t rain too much on his parade, considering that he’s the second cast-member in this movie that was actually able to draw some laughs out of me.

That other person who made me laugh a whole heck of a lot was Ian McShane, who I honestly feel like they just called-in at the last second, and he decided to show up whenever he felt like it. Whatever the reason was, it doesn’t matter, because he’s always funny and always stealing the show; just like you’d imagine every Ian McShane performance being written as.

I would hate to even forget to mention Rashida Jones’ love-interest character, or even Olivia Colman as Bruce’s likable, spirited sister, but the fact is this: They are just fine. Jones seems like she may be able to break-out of that Ann Perkins-mode she’s created for herself, but this may not be the movie to do so; and as for Colman, well, she gives some levity to a role that could have easily been written-off as “the sister of the main character who is there to shed some advice on his life, even though she may not have it all figured-out like she says” type of role. Yeah, it’s a long description, but you know what I’m talking about.

Consensus: Not as crackling with humor as much as it should be, Cuban Fury gets by on the utter-charm and likability of its cast, because everything else is pretty standard, even by comedy’s standards.

6 / 10 = Rental!!

"No Simon or Edgar around, it's finally my time to shine."

“No Simon or Edgar around, it’s finally my time to shine.”

Photo’s Credit to: IMDBColliderJobloComingSoon.net

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19 responses to “Cuban Fury (2014)

  1. thycriticman April 16, 2014 at 4:45 am

    Have not heard good things about this one and your review continues that trend. Perhaps when I feel like a comedy and happen to be super bored, but otherwise….mehhh. You may be right about likable cast though! Something about Rashida Jones is extremely hot! She should shut up about her hatred for porn though lmao.

  2. Writer Loves Movies April 16, 2014 at 6:54 am

    The trailer put me off this one and I steered clear but it sounds like it might be ok with a few drinks when you’re in the mood for something light. Great review as always Dan.

  3. thomasjford April 16, 2014 at 8:45 am

    The loveable Nick Frost, the even more loveable Rashida Jones (if ya get me). What’s not to like!

  4. stephen1001 April 16, 2014 at 10:28 am

    Good point about him typically being the sidekick – sounds like an interesting change of pace for Frost!

  5. MovieManJackson April 16, 2014 at 12:32 pm

    Not sure if I will give this a view, but I love me some Rashida Jones, all the way back from Chappelle’s Show and The Office!

  6. whitdenton98 April 16, 2014 at 12:55 pm

    Even though it does look kind of mediocre, it’s cast is hard to turn down. Who doesn’t like Nick Frost? Nice review man.

  7. whirlwindsupernova April 16, 2014 at 1:52 pm

    I wasn’t really expecting much from this, but now I’d want to see it. Great review!

  8. ruth April 16, 2014 at 8:54 pm

    It had some funny moments but overall I didn’t think it was as hilarious as I had hoped it’d be. I think Chris O’Dowd is a bit too much here, and not in a good way. Frost is fun though, and wish there were more Ian McShane scenes!

  9. Three Rows Back April 16, 2014 at 9:19 pm

    That sounds about right. Nice review Dan.

  10. contentforyou1254 April 17, 2014 at 7:40 am

    I have a feeling that this is one of those movies you have to be in the right mood for. I like Nick Frost but he is a bit hit and miss with his comedy.

  11. Ayush Chandra April 18, 2014 at 5:23 pm

    The screenshots are indicating that this is similar to hangover…………

  12. Tom April 18, 2014 at 6:56 pm

    NIce review. If its got Nick Frost front-and-center, I think I’ll go ahead and check this one out. Sounds decently fun for a rental! And I do also really like Rashida Jones

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