“How can you be so serious about something that’s named after a dip?”
In a flurry of sequinned, pop music fuelled flashbacks begins <i>Cuban Fury</i>, the newest addition to the British comedy sub-genre of underdogs, in the vein of films like 2013s <i>One Chance</i>.
This time, however, it’s not a true story of one man’s rise to fame in a singing competition that is the centre of the film, instead it’s a former salsa prodigy, who is downtrodden at work and goes back to the sport in order to win the girl of his dreams, who also happens to be his boss.
With a premise like this and the cast it boasts, you’d think you’re in for a treat, but instead you get a film that just promises grandeur, never actually achieving it. This is mostly due to <i>Cuban Fury</i> suffering from an identity crisis not so unlike its protagonist – it’s a sally dance comedy through and through, without a doubt, but can’t accept it, and instead tries to be more a romance, but falls flat due to the lack of set up for the relationship.
This is a pity, as the film’s best moments <i>are</i> the silly dance scenes, where it doesn’t take itself too seriously, and just embraces itself for what it is. Most of the jokes land flat, and Rashida Jones doesn’t have enough screen time or focus to be believed as a love interest. It has enough funny moments to keep one entertained, but overall, <i>Cuban Fury</i> is pretty uninspiring, badly paced, and one feels challenged to find things to say about it, never rising above a dreary first act into something more than just being cute and not terribly hilarious.
I was excited to see <i>Cuban Fury</i>, as I hadn’t really ever seen much of Nick Frost’s work, and Chris O’Dowd can be entertaining, but instead I got a film where the funniest character is a walk-on that will only drink flat Fanta. Figures.
Cuban Fury receives a wide release, starting today (March 20, 2014).
M (sexual references and coarse language), 98 mins.