Thursday, July 31, 2014

Cuban Fury

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. These reviews are not meant to be statements of facts or endorsements, I am just sharing my opinions and my perspective when watching the film and is not meant to reflect how these films should be viewed. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 0-5. 0, of course, being unwatchable. 1, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being great and 5, being epic! And if you enjoy these reviews feel free to share them and follow the blog or follow me on Twitter (@RevRonster) for links to my reviews and the occasional live-Tweet session of the movie I'm watching! Cuban Fury sounds like a comic book character from the industry's far less racially sympathetic age.

Cuban Fury – 3 out of 5

When I heard that Cuban Fury was all about salsa, I was like, “Well, I’m not entirely sure why they would make an entire movie about salsa but it’s got the guy from Shaun of the Dead and the guy from The IT Crowd in it, so let’s do this!” Don’t get me wrong, I love salsa. I usually get a refill of it (or two) when I hit some authentic Mexican restaurants and it is really good it you add a little cheese to it. Now, at this point, I am going to end this lame joke about mistaking the dancing (which this film is ACTUALLY about) for the dip and I’m going to go right into the synopsis…
Surprise, nerds!  Simon Pegg makes a split-second, impossible-to-properly-
screencap cameo!

As a child, Bruce (Nick Frost) had a love for salsa dancing and was on his way to become a big deal in it. However, one night he ran afoul of some bullies and he vowed to never put on his sequined shirt or dancing shoes again. Now, as an adult, he finds himself working his days away while being mocked by his coworker Drew (Chris O’Dowd) but things start to look up as a new boss crosses the pond (Rashida Jones) and he learns she loves salsa. Now, Bruce is suddenly filled with the piss and vinegar mixture that created his love of salsa as a child and decides to once again dance. So, with the support of his sister and his friends, he seeks out his old mentor (Ian McShane) and sets forth to once again dance and even hit the competition circuit.
My girlfriend said I remind her of Nick I suppose to be honored?
Or slightly offended because she just said I need to lose weight?

The out-of-focus man in the front was the true
star of the film.
Cuban Fury definitely has its moments and it did make me laugh on more than one occasion but there were some things that I couldn’t help but feel hurt the overall film. For example, did the film’s premise (while amusing to see a chubby Brit really love salsa dancing) really translate to a feature length film? A part of me—usually the part of me who was bored when the film started to drag in places—kept saying to the other parts of me that this one might have been better off as a short film. Sure, it made me laugh and I really liked the cast but the jokes were never ridiculously funny and there were too many moments where the film slowed down too much.
I had the same look the one time I decided to shave my chest...
the one time.

If you have "Ian McShane Plays a Salsa Coach" on your
movie Bingo card, you just won every game of
movie Bingo to ever exist.
I worry this next complaint will make me look like an asshole and make it look like I hated the cast but it couldn’t be further from the truth. Literally, every single person in this movie is an actor/actress I enjoy. Rashida Jones, Chris O’Dowd, Nick Frost and Ian McShane—I love all of them. However, certain elements of the roster felt ill-suited for their roles. I never expected to see Al Swearengen as a salsa dance instructor but McShane did the job alright. The casting decision I couldn’t get into was seeing Chris O’Dowd as an asshole and seeing Nick Frost as a romcom love interest. Now, I’ve seen O’Dowd pull off an egotistical jerk well in Gulliver’s Travels (in fact, he was about the only good thing about the film) but the way he played this jerky character didn’t seem natural for O’Dowd and it made for a lot of awkward moments…awkward but mildly amusing moments.

How all men should stand when attempting to seduce a co-worker or superior.

Then, as much as I love Nick Frost, I had a hard time seeing him as the romcom type. His character pursuing Rashida Jones’ character didn’t feel natural and it looked like even Frost didn’t have faith in his abilities to pull it off. Most of his interactions with Jones looked awkward and not in the “this character is awkward around women” awkward but like “this actor is awkward with the awkward character” awkward. He didn’t seem to have any troubles interacting with the rest of the cast but, even after his character is supposed to be comfortable around the woman he digs, he still looks like Frost, the actor, doesn’t feel completely at home acting around her.
The passionate love story between Ian McShane and Nick Frost, however, is
fiery hot!

However, overall, the complaints I had in the cast were minor and weren’t total entertainment-killers. Ultimately, however, pretty much the entire movie is just average. Cuban Fury isn’t terrible because it does have some moments that are amusing and there is some charm to it but the film does feel like it stretches its premise beyond its elasticity point and a lot of the cast doesn’t look like they really fit their parts. Now, if you’ll excuse me, just the quick tease of salsa con queso at the beginning of this review has me hankering and I need to run to the store for chips and dip.

The passionate love story between--shit, I did that joke on the last picture.

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