Cuban Fury

Cuban Fury
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Director: James Griffiths
Cert: 15A
Genre: Comedy
Starring: Nick Frost, Rashida Jones, Chris O'Dowd, Olivia Colman
Running Time: 1 hr 38 mins

Bruce (Nick Frost) is a portly, perennial also-ran who works at an engineering firm, where he faces merciless daily ribbings from Drew, the resident office alpha-tool (Chris O’Dowd). Upon learning that glamorous new manager Julia (Rashida Jones) has a passion for dance, Bruce, with some prompting from his boozy bar-wench sister (Olivia Colman), determines to win her over. But Bruce, a former champion hoofer, turned his back on salsa long ago.

Will Bruce’s grumpy former dojo (Ian McShane) take him back? Will the boss lady be impressed with Bruce’s efforts? Or will Drew get in there first?

Cuban Fury doesn't carry the name Edgar Wright in the credits, and it exists with little input from Simon Pegg. But written by Jon Brown from a story by Frost, it feels like a happy adjunct of the Cornetto Trilogy . Albeit, with certain terms and conditions.

Eschewing the genre-happy styling of Hot Fuzz and The World's End, Cuban Fury belongs firmly to the same, mega-successful English subgenre that spawned Calendar Girls, The Full Monty and Kinky Boots .


Frost’s vehicle is funnier and frothier than any of those films. So don’t be surprised if it eventually pops up on London’s West End. Followed by a Tony-winning Broadway transfer.

Technically and formally, this is a simple, appealing fairytale construction, with one eye fixed on the Valentine’s Day crowd and another on the current vogue for all things salsa.

The cast do lend a starry glow. Frost makes for an adorable lug; Jones could charm birds from trees; Colman and O'Dowd have a tonne of boisterous fun; and McShane brings a splash of Pinteresque menace to dance instruction; and Kayvan Novak ( Four Lions ) throws comical shapes in the GBF role.

Tara Brady

Tara Brady

Tara Brady, a contributor to The Irish Times, is a writer and film critic