Going without usual screen partner Simon Pegg for a change, Nick Frost goes solo in corny but enjoyable comedy Cuban Fury, which flouts usual screen stereotypes to cast him not only as an unlikely romantic lead but as a champion dancer, too.
Strictly speaking, his character is a former dance champ and, at the film’s outset, initially conforms to type as a tubby loser. Frost’s Bruce Garrett was a salsa-dancing star as a teenager – until a humiliating brush with a mob of bullies extinguished his desire to dance. His passion is rekindled, two decades on, by the arrival of Rashida Jones’s gorgeous, salsa-loving Julia, his new boss at work.
Bruce knows she’s way out of his league – she’s a butterfly, he’s a parsnip – and his smarmy office colleague Drew (Chris O’Dowd) is after her as well. Even so, he’s inspired to track down his fearsome childhood dance instructor (a growling Ian McShane) to get back into shape on the dance floor.
What ensues is silly and cheesy but enormous fun if you’re in the right mood. Don’t go expecting subtlety. The supporting performances have cartoon vigour – with Kayvan Novak, in particular, going flamboyantly over the top as Bruce’s enthusiastic salsa classmate. But it’s hard not to root for Frost’s hero – his hilarious dance off with love rival O’Dowd in the office car park ought to win you over on its own – and the film’s love of salsa is truly infectious.
Certificate 15. Runtime 98 mins. Director James Griffiths.
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