Release Date: September 13th, 2019
Director: Lorene Scafaria
Release Format: Theatrical
Many professions have a cinematic masterpiece to call their own. Cops have Training Day, NBA players have Space Jam and now finally the strippers have Hustlers. Okay, not really but they do have a really fun flick in Hustlers.
Hustlers is about Destiny (Constance Wu), a new stripper learning the ropes at a new club. It’s not long before veteran dancer Ramona (Jennifer Lopez) links up with her to become her mentor. Then, some tough times hit the economy and they team up with the other girls to do what they do the best, hustle.
Guys, don’t take your girls to this as you’ll be doing a bit of heavy breathing (from the plot of course), a lot like they were to Magic Mike. Once she catches you doing that long gulp, you’ll catch more hell than the kids in IT in the coming weeks.
There’s a lot of fun and comedic sequences throughout the film to highlight the wild world of a strip club. The douche clients will have you rooting for our girls to screw them more than those guys want to screw the dancers. However, the movie kinda stalls at a certain point and crash lands when it comes to the anticlimactic finish.
All They Really Need is Some Money
This movie rides on the back of colorful characters that come in & out of the film. They help to downplay some of the more serious aspects of…well, drugging and robbing guys.
Cardi B play–Cardi B in this film is energetic and spicy. She’s not in it long, but she’s arguably apart of the films best section.
Cardi actually lived the life our cast gets into later, but I guess hearing “okuuuur” shrieked in an alleyway might scare off some guys. It’s like hearing the “ch-ch-ch” noise in Friday the 13th films, a warning to run.
The movie hits a peak early on and coasts until the credits roll. This is not necessarily a bad thing as it stays entertaining and funny, but it never really switches gears.
By the time the anticlimactic ending hits, it was clear the film was just “a day in life” type story. Either that or the strippers drugged the editor too and they forgot to include a couple of parts to the ending.
J-Lo is actually giving a good performance in the film. She has been clowned on for decades for having the acting of a deer in headlights. This is not the case here as she fully engrosses herself in the part. Yet, after a certain point Hustlers maximizes the use out of Ramona, only to continue giving her screentime, when there are other girls that needed it.
Constance Wu is great in the film as she goes from being innocent to corrupted by Ramona. They are both genuinely friends but have an interesting dynamic at times of who is manipulating the other.
Deeper Than Rap
There are some pretty hilarious moments throughout the film. There’s one where a guy went away form his wife, practically to the center of the Earth, for a phone call with one of the strippers. This is like a “can you hear me now?” commercial but for cheaters, so it’s more like “can she hear me still?”
Director Lorene Scafaria has some really beautiful shots in the film. The lighting and locations have this extra flare because of the way she showcases them.
There are some really clever transitions that went over a lot of audience members. The standout example happens when a character turns off an audio recorder, so the audience can only see what’s happening on screen.
My theatre was screaming for the ushers to fix the sound and that had me dying of laughter. Watching audience members having to explain to the others what just happened is gold. If this film wasn’t a PSA to stay in school, that moment definitely was.
That all speaks to Hustlers being deeper than what it appears to be on the surface level like Magic Mike. Unfortunately, some of the deeper emotional moments later on flat because of weak dialogue that is only highlighted more by their extended scenes.
There are some effective emotional parts like when Destiny desperately chatting with a client, then calls her daughter “it” and lies about watching her for a friend. Those moments hit hard and get you invested in the characters.
Yet, there are a handful of prominent scenes that fall flat like one between Destiny and Ramona near the end. You’ll know when you see it because it’s that Zach Galifianakis crying meme. You will have the same reaction as watching that Zach scene or this other ugly crying clip.
Okurrr, I Got into This One
Verdict: Hustlers is a solid, entertaining and funny film that stumbles near the finish. It’s worth a watch, even the bad aspects like some emotional scenes falling flat don’t take detract too much from the good time.
I wouldn’t mind seeing this again as it really was fun, even though that weaker last third stalls out and felt like an afterthought.
What’s the best wild crime film you ever watched? What do you think about Hustlers? Has there ever been any good stripper movies? Leave your comments!
- Colorful characters
- Funny sequences
- Great directing
- Flat emotional scenes
- Seemingly rushed ending
- Underutilized cast