An American crime drama with a fresh spin, Hustlers is wildly entertaining, well made and worth any and all praise it receives. Based on the true story of former strippers getting the upper hand on their Wall Street customers, director and writer Lorene Scafaria spins a non-stop action film into a heartfelt story about friendship. Hustlers is nearly flawless, save certain moments of questionable acting scattered throughout. However, co-stars Jennifer Lopez and Constance Wu show a great deal of chemistry and tend to shine amongst the cast. By standing out as a refreshing take in the new crime genre, this film has gained a great deal of popularity and is sure to impress.
Destiny (Wu) is an up-and-coming stripper in the New York scene, doing everything she can to make an the best living possible for her and her grandmother. Ramona (Lopez) seems to be a legend on the circuit, a showstopping dancer that never has trouble bringing in the money. The two eventually form a friendship, as Ramona decides to take Destiny under her wing. Dancing goes well until the financial crisis of 2008, when all of a sudden, the club becomes a ghost town and clients were hard to come by. After a few years of struggling, Destiny and Ramona come up with a scheme to go “fishing” for clients, and their luck suddenly changes. A reporter by the name of Elizabeth (Julia Stiles), documents this incredible journey from Destiny’s point of view.
Sometimes a story is so interesting that the movie can pretty much ride on its coattails. This film does nothing of the sort, as Scafaria’s direction pushes the film along at an impeccable pace. There is never a dull moment, as the narrative transitions back and forth between real time storytelling and past action. The atmosphere and setting provide an authentic experience, and the film never seems ridiculous or unbelievable. Scafaria is able to humanize these characters, really delving into their personal stories. The only minor issue is in the acting, where some members of the cast seem out of place. Lopez and Wu do a nice job, feeding off each other for the majority of the film, but even they have a few cracks in their performances.
Small imperfections aside, Hustlers is a must-see film. By taking the popular idea of robbing the financially corrupt Wall Street big shots, Scafaria’s latest is able to keep the intrigue fresh for the entire 109 minutes. Fast, fun and a little rough around the edges, Hustlers is sure to please audiences all around.
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