April 13, 2014

Movie Review: Cuban Fury

Do you ever see a movie trailer for a film that you can just tell is not trying terribly hard or covers a lot of familiar ground, but feel compelled to see it anyway? I know you have, I have to. Although, I have to admit that I am getting a little better at skipping some, there are some that slip past the guard. One of those to get though the defenses is Cuban Fury. I am sure most of you have never heard of this one before. Before a few days ago I hadn't either, it is just sneaking into a few theaters and I suspect that it will fade away just as quickly. By now, you have to be wondering if it is worth seeing. The answer is a little complicated, but not really.

Cuban Fury is about as formulaic as they come. If you have seen one underdog gets the girl movie, you have seen them all. This is no different. It is fairly easy to see exactly where this one is going, it does nothing to add to the genre, it hits all the necessary beats that the formula calls for and ends just as you would expect it to. So, if you are looking for something even a little bit original, you are going to want to skip it. On the other hand, the movie does manage to entertain and it was certainly worth my time because of the cast. The movie survives based on a very likable cast who make you want to watch them despite the ho-hum nature of the formula. The affable cast is led by Nick Frost who is supported by Rashida Jones and Chris O'Dowd.

Nick Frost stars as a sad, lonely, fellow who works as an industrial equipment salesman named Bruce. He works with alpha male, Drew (O'Dowd), a pompous fellow who continuously brags to Bruce. Their office dynamic changes when they get a new boss, an American named Julia (Jones). As it has to happen, she catches the eye of both Bruce and Drew. Drew is ready to give up before it begins, as he has such a sever lack of confidence and body image issues that he does not believe he has a chance. Meanwhile, Drew is ready to jump right in and let his alpha male machismo do its thing. Then something changes.

Now would probably be a good time to mention that when he was a child, Bruce was a champion salsa dancer. An unfortunate encounter with a group of bullies saw his dancing fire go out. Upon the discovery that Julia is learning salsa, his dancing soul is reignited and sets out to dance his way into her heart. Along the way we get dancing troubles, miscommunication, and a face off with Drew, just as you would expect.

That really sums it up. Cuban Fury reinforces the idea of the sad sack guy winning the affections of the beautiful woman. We all know that it is possible but highly, highly unlikely, but the movies keep telling us it is always possible. Then again, this is one of the reasons we go, right? To escape reality and sometimes find a way to think a little better of ourselves, however fleeting. This is why I like this movie, I identify a little with Nick Frost's Bruce. This is a good natured escape from the real world. It is not out to be anything it isn't, it won't change opinions, but hopefully it will make you smile.

Nick Frost is does a good job in the lead role. If I remember correctly, this is also Frost's first lead role without Simon Pegg (although, you may find him in a cameo appearance). He has been in other films, of course, but in supporting roles only. He plays very likable, funny, and able to carry a film himself. I hope he gets more opportunities.

It is pretty likely that if you are going to see this one, it is going to be on Netflix or something. I do not expect much from the theatrical run. Still, it is funny and sweet, it survives the formula by presenting a cast that is fun and willing to make sure the formula works. See it, just don't expect anything great or memorable in the long term.


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