Ricky's Film Reviews

Bringing you honest reviews of recent releases

Cuban Fury

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In the 1980’s Bruce Garrett was a successful Salsa dancer. With his sister Sam as his dance partner, he conquered the world – well – northern England – touring place to place and wowing crowds everywhere. Known for his ‘feet of flames’ and elaborate outfits, Bruce was a young chap whose dancing skill mean’t he was sorted for life. Success was imminent.

..he is now an unfit, disgruntled engineer who works in an office.

 

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Cast

Nick Frost – Bruce

Rashida Jones – Julia

Chris O’Dowd – Drew

Olivia Coleman – Sam

Ian McShane – Ron Parfitt

Alexandra Roach – Helen

Kayvan Novak – Bejan

Rory Kinnear – Gary

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When I first saw the advert for Cuban Fury, I really wasn’t won over at all. Firstly, I can’t bloody stand Nick Frost. Its not that I don’t find him funny – I physically can’t find him funny. And then of course the Salsa theme which involved him shuffling through an hour or so of film..

No. This looked awful.

..it was great.

Cuban Fury turned out to be 98 minutes of very funny script and slapstick, provided by an excellent mixed bag of actors. As well as being very watchable, it made me ‘LOL’ in many parts. An element of movies I adore. 

But what (if any) were the flaws? 

Did Nick manage to win me over this time? 

And how much does it really deserve out of ten?…

Read on to find out.

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Well Written

Cuban Fury has a very funny script, and is full of wonderfully funny moments. This is my first observation – the humour. The plot is very simple; man loses his confidence in a certain ability and strives to get it back whilst trying to win over the woman he lusts after. The movie flows at a nice speed, throwing a lot of comedy at the audience as it does so. Its message is simple – there are no dragged-out, over-analysed scenes or speeches. And these elements are what makes it very watchable.

Cuban Fury reminded me of one of those ‘randoms’ you find on television – you kick back and let it nicely wash over you without having to concentrate too hard – it just happens. And its enjoyable. The reason why I find it well written is due to the adult humour and observational comedy. It doesn’t try too hard to be funny, it just is – because of the subtle actions performed by the actors (which are actions you genuinely do find in most day-to-day situations), and the true words spoken.

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‘LOL’

I love a movie that can make me laugh out loud. There’s no better feeling is there – when you genuinely find something funny and let out a hearty reaction in response. Those warm chemicals are released, and you feel good from it. There are plenty of laugh-out-loud moments in Cuban Fury, which flow from its witty script. I found myself laughing at the subtlest of things. For example, the scene where Gary knocks on Bruce’s front door – Bruce opens it and Gary asks if he wants to go out that night. But when Bruce turns him down, Gary replies: “what am I supposed to do all night? Stay in, wanking?”

I fucking HOWLED with laughter. The way he delivered this line was so natural, and is something one person would say to another in a real-life scenario (I would).

And then Olivia – her ‘posh lady who swears a lot’ personality was hysterical whenever she uttered the word ‘fuck’. The audience seemed to love her. Throughout the film, it is Sam (Coleman) and Gary (Kinnear) who deliver the funniest lines and the best comedy moments – two very expressive actors who don’t have to try very hard to deliver effective performances. In fact, these two overrule Mr. Frost himself.

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Where was HE in all of this?…

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Frost Makes Me Feel Cold

Nick Frost. The “what film you were in again?” of Hollywood. Easy to forget until he pops up on screen again. One of the least sexually-appealing actors in the film industry. The least funny one of his duo with Simon Pegg.

I can’t stand him, I really can’t. Can you tell?

I’m sorry, but as a ‘comedian’ he just doesn’t cut it with me – he is not funny. In the big wide world of film and television we have a massive range of actors and comedians, each with their own trait. Own characteristics. An element of their personality which makes them stand out.

Dynamics.

I don’t see anything in Nick Frost – at all. He just slumps his way round films, haplessly following his on-screen partner. Oh, he manages to deliver any character – the only flaw is that each character is basically the same as the one in the film he made before.

Rik Mayall, Joanna Lumley, Jim Carrey, Melissa McCarthy – they each have their own diverse quality which makes them stand out. Where the bloody hell is Nick Frost’s?.. there are no obvious qualities about the man at all that wins people over. He’s just – there.

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And then of course I sat down to watch him in Cuban Fury.

And I was pleasantly surprised..

 

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Not Bad

OK, Nick Frost still wasn’t hilarious – but it was his natural acting ability which won me over in this movie. I enjoyed his performance of downtrodden Bruce. He played the character effortlessly and was very believable. He seemed to coast through this movie with no problem, and was the perfect actor for the role of such a disgruntled man. OK, so it was genuinely difficult for me to feel sorry for the dude – due to him having an air of irritant instead of sadness about him – but nonetheless he managed to pull me in and I found myself engaged in his story.

As an actor, Nick Frost isn’t bad at all. So he always seems to play the same character and nothing about him screams ‘talent’, but at the same time he passes for actually being an actor. In Cuban Fury, it is his on-screen colleagues who take the lead in delivering some excellent comedy.

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 Well Done, Olivia

Olivia Coleman. She seems to springing up everywhere nowadays doesn’t she.

I first saw her in something years ago when I was little, and then recognised that face again when watching The Iron Lady back in 2011 (as Carol Thatcher). Since then, she has graced the screen rather frequently with her naturally subtle appearance. But behind that subtlety is some powerful talent. And Cuban Fury exposed the more hilarious side..

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What can I say, the woman was fucking FUNNY.

She plays Bruce’s supportive sister Samantha – a woman in her mid-thirties who works as a ‘Hula Girl’ in a local bar. The brother and sister team is reformed for a Salsa competition in one part of the movie – and by Christ, can Olivia dance – she shakes her booty around the dance floor like a pro, and the finale of the couple’s dance sees her perform the splits whilst Bruce holds her in mid-air.

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Just brilliant. I could tell the audience (most of which were foreign – relevant perhaps?) were enjoying it as much as I was, from their reactions. So keep your eyes peeled for this scene, its fast and (oddly) sexy.

Olivia has fantastic comedic skills and natural dance abilities, both of which are ignited with sheer force during this movie.

Well done, Olivia.

(..and if that was a body double, I may feel slightly deflated).

 

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Bejan

The joker, the comic relief. This character is hilarious.

Bejan is a fellow dance classmate of Bruce – who quickly becomes a close friend. But from the moment we see this camp Latin man wiggle on to the dance floor, the laughs come thick and fast. The audience were HOWLING with laughter whenever he was on screen, and I must say – although overly camp men turn me off immediately, Bejan had me in bloody stitches and I was lapping him up.

He actually reminded me a little of Hollywood from 80’s movie Mannequin. Remember him? The obviously homosexual joker who remains a fixed point of the movie by being a colourful dose of comic relief. This was just like that – the same sort of guy, isn’t in the film constantly but when he is, he adds an excellent spark.

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I had absolutely no idea Bejan is played by Kayvan Novak; genius behind the British television set-up show FonejackerI sat watching this hilarious man thinking, “don’t think I’ve seen him before”.. but I’ve definitely heard him before. I’ll admit, I own all series of Fonejacker on DVD – because it is fucking hilarious. Phoning a random list of complete strangers – from housewives to shopkeepers – and by playing with stupid voices, lead them to believe you’re genuinely contacting them for something..

Immature – maybe. Funny – definitely.

From voice and camp mannerisms, down to the costume, Kayvak absolutely nailed Bejan. (you know, nailed – achieved)

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The Latin Touch

Those of you who are in touch with your Latin dance and culture, or are in fact actually Latin, should enjoy this movie. We are introduced lightly to Salsa – whereby Bruce attends his first class. He meets the dance teacher and she begins taking him through his steps. And then shortly after this the movie gets a sexy injection of proper Latino music, the language, genuine clothing & accessories and professional Salsa dancers. The whole film starts to ooze the spicy foreign quality only Latinos can produce, heating it all up nicely.

The foreign audience members sat near me seemed to be loving it.

 

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Teasers

Certain parts of Cuban Fury were hysterical. And other parts made my mouth drop open, stunned. A few examples below:

Drew (to Julia): “I would be honoured if you would.. let me fuck you”

 

Bejan: “..we are Goonies. It’s just us down here, and them up there” – (no one in the audience reacted to this apart from me. I think this movie related one-liner went straight over their heads)

 

Sam – scene at work where she’s on the phone with one hand, creating a pineapple-filled cocktail with the other.

 

Bruce – scene at work where he punches a wall and his arm goes straight through it. Helen then passes by and asks him something work-related, completely oblivious to his accident. (another audience howler)

 

 

Drew (referring to Julia): “..I would make a splash in that like a milk truck smashing into a wall”

 

Gary: “what am I supposed to do all night? Stay in, wanking?” – followed by an explanation of his sneaky plan to rid the house of his girlfriend so that he can get up to no good.

Helen: “..miss ‘I’m so American’…” – mocking new boss Julia and pronouncing the word ‘American’ in a very deep Welsh accent, which evoked howls of laughter from the audience.

 

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Gary

I need to expel this from my system:

Is it just me and only me, or is Rory Kinnear rather sexual? He’s balding slightly on top, but fuck me – there’s something rugged about him and whenever Gary was on screen I was rather enjoying myself. (enjoying the moment, not physically enjoying myself, you know).

He’s no Hollywood hunk, but by Christ I’d baste his turkey for him.

 

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Right, I’m going to finish up here – feel a bit flushed.

 

So Cuban Fury proved rather entertaining. I honestly had my doubts before I saw it, but when it finished I was glad I did. This movie is very well written and is dripping with fantastic humour and witty moments. The concept is simple, the messages are clear.

The other actors outshone Nick Frost by miles, but I knew this would happen – and I’m bloody glad they did. This movie took a proper mixed bag of actors and showcased the comedic skill of each individual one, delivering a healthy serving of slapstick fun which the audience loved. Cuban Fury is very funny and entertaining – you don’t have to think too much about it. Just let it wash over you and enjoy its precious moments.

Oh, and keep your eyes peeled – a certain ‘someone’ makes a split-second appearance…

 

 

 

7/10

 

 

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This entry was posted on March 2, 2014 by .
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