Cuban Fury - Blu-ray Review

'Director James Griffiths wants Bruce (Nick Frost) to be his hero, but the temptation is to call for his arrest.'

The oafishly mis-judged Cuban Fury exists in a strange parallel universe where people recognisably work in modern office hives and drive Prius cars, yet still make one another cassette tapes, which they play in their presumably retro-fitted automobiles. This may not be amongst James Griffiths' film's biggest crimes, but it is evidence of its broken, ill-planned thinking.

From minor crimes which don't make sense to larger ones: Bruce's (Nick Frost) pursuit of Julia (Rashida Jones) is so poorly introduced and later realised that it occasionally comes across as creepy. 'I just wanted to rush in and hold her in my arms', Bruce says, here talking about a lady he has only met once and has observed taking part in a dance class by spying through a doorway. Griffiths wants Bruce to be his hero, but the temptation is to call for his arrest.

The film's successes rest almost entirely at the feet of Kayvan Novak, who someone somewhere must surely be considering for something bigger than this at this very moment. In Bejan, a dance friend/partner of Bruce, Novak is given a typically thankless task by Jon Brown's script: making a predictably flamboyant and camp character anything other than that. He succeeds, with some aplomb and it is telling that it is Bejan this film leaves you with rather than either lead or Chris O'Dowd's atrociously written antagonist. Drew (O'Dowd) is a mess of cringe and tired office jokes, who builds up to a master plan only to have it ripped away from him by poor writing that puts him in his underwear as a punchline.

Elsewhere, Ian McShane is given a role that, in a film with a script that's anywhere near decent, should have been a gift of an ageing sweary mentor: here, everything he does falls flat. The finale, full of razzle-dazzle, does provide elevation but the film needed much more of that throughout, rather than a mere fifteen minutes at the conclusion. When you can't get laughs, life or anything really out of a cast this talented, something is very wrong indeed.

By Sam Turner. Sam is editor of Film Intel, and can usually be found behind a keyboard with a cup of tea. He likes entertaining films and dislikes the other kind. He's on , Twitter and several places even he doesn't yet know about.

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