NICK FROST RASHIDA JONES CHRIS O’DOWD OLIVIA COLMAN IAN MCSHANE
It seems that comedic partners Nick Frost and Simon Pegg (Hot Fuzz, Shaun of the Dead) have parted ways after the conclusion of their trilogy last year. Frost breaks out on his own in Cuban Fury, based on a script idea he pitched starring himself as a has been salsa dancer. Cuban Fury could have easily been another Joe Dirt, but thankfully those Brits are just smarter and better at comedy scripts than most of the trash we see in the US. Frost and Jon Brown have a script that never elevates itself outside the realm of reality; the comedy and jokes stay grounded and make for an enjoyable film with really colorful characters.
As a pre-teen Bruce Garrett was a salsa dancing sensational regionally, winning trophies and on his way to the big time. That all changed the night of the national championships, when bullies overtook him and forced him to eat nearly all the 100 sequins on his shirt. 25 years later, working in an office and 200 pounds heavier, his interest in salsa dancing is reignited when his new boss (Jones) is not only beautiful, caring and a true professional, but she is also a salsa dancer. He hunts down his dancing teacher (McShane) and prepares for a local competition in hopes of wooing the woman he can’t get off his mind.
The main ingredient in the Edgar Wright films, which were all co-written by Simon Pegg, was the colorful characters; not just supporting players, but characters that you actually wanted to see more of when they were off screen. Frost has learned a thing or two from his buddies (Pegg appears in a cameo) and manages to retain some of that same creativity for Cuban Fury. In some ways Frost might look like the British equivalent to our Kevin James, but their size is the only thing they have in common. Frost is charismatic and funny without being stupid or sacrificing reality for prat falls or kindergarten humor.
With the outrageous staying on the minimal side, Cuban Fury allows O’Dowd (Bridesmaids) to play against type and Kayvan Novak to basically steal the show as the gay Persian dancer Bejan; “Boom, shake the room please!”. Cuban Fury isn’t a perfect comedy, but it’s almost impossible not to fall for its charm, even at the stupidest moments. If the film has a must see moment, it would be the dance off battle between Frost and O’Dowd on the rooftop parking lot.
Final Thought – Frost trades in the Fuzz for Fury, proving he can go it alone.
By: Dustin Chase