A consistently intelligent (or at least bright), coherently constructed comedy that is on occasion a rather pointed critique of the American education system in the…
Despite sounding like a Latin martial-arts movie, "Cuban Fury" does not star the Jackie Chan of Havana. Instead, it’s an eager-to-please British underdog comedy about a former swivel-hipped teen salsa sensation who stages a middle-age comeback to impress the woman he loves.
You probably know the steps to this routine already, from the unlikely tubby hero (human cuddly toy Nick Frost, faring nicely in his debut as a romantic lead) to his taunting workplace rival (Chris O’Dowd, a veritable spire of smarm) to his tough-love mentor (Ian McShane, foul-mouthed and lizard-lidded as usual) to the will-he-or-won’t- he-compete contest finale. There is a little dirty dancing, some Saturday night fever and a few strictly ballroom encounters. No full monty, alas, although a pantless O’Dowd does generously show off his saggy green undies while scratching his behind.
To those who guessed there might also be a makeover sequence and a training montage, all I can say is, well done.
But there are at least three good reasons why anyone would want to see this by-the-numbers lark. First of all, I don’t know about you, but anything done with an English accent usually seems all the more tolerable for it. Documentary narration, cursing, someone reading the litany of side effects in a Cialis commercial. Think of how you different you would have felt about "The King’s Speech" if the monarch stuttered in Brooklynese or with a Texas twang. Of course, in that case, he probably wouldn’t be ruling England.