There’s a type of lazy high concept comedy that thrives on casting people in unexpected roles. Hey, it’s Will Ferrell as a basketballer/ice skater/soccer coach! Kevin James is a MMA fighter/zookeeper/comedian that audiences are somehow supposed to find funny! On first impression it’s easy to write Cuban Fury off as being in the same vein, with portly UK funny man Nick Frost donning a salsa dancer’s sequins and busting out some sweet moves. That would ignore several important points though – those sorts of films are often actually pretty hilarious, Cuban Fury is more grounded than most high concept comedy and also has a surprisingly larger heart.
While there’s still the whiff of the faintly ridiculous here and there – and the fully ridiculous when Frost squares off against workplace nemesis Chris O’Dowd in a spectacular dance-fight – the film doesn’t require an instant transformation of its hero as much as a reigniting of a former passion. Although downtrodden, unfulfilled and bullied, as engineer Bruce, Frost is no massive loser and Cuban Fury never sets up the Hollywood expectation that he’s going to turn into a massive winner either.
While we’re not used to seeing Frost take top billing, he makes for a great lead and enjoys strong chemistry with his supporting cast, in particular mentor Ian McShane and O’Dowd. With the latter Frost is subjected to some hilarious bullying in what is a highly entertaining turn from the usually likeable actor clearly relishing his chance to play an asshole. When all’s said and done, Cuban Fury doesn’t pack many surprises, apart from the sheer enjoyment that comes from watching it – and that’s just fine.
‘Cuban Fury’ Movie Times