Movie Review: Hustlers
Jennifer Lopez and Constance Wu deliver Oscar-worthy performances in Hustlers, now playing in theaters.
The film is inspired by Jessica Pressler’s viral New York Magazine article about former strip club employees who band together to turn the tables on their Wall Street clients.
Hustlers is definitely a fitting title for this film, as it hustles the audience in a very pleasurable way. With a twist ending that you truly don’t see coming, the film is enormous fun from beginning to end.
Once you get past the razzle-dazzle and the films many, many great jokes, you can easily tell that Hustlers is more about the bonds these women have with each other. The film builds many relationships up only to reach a boiling point in the final act. While Hustlers isn’t a story of empowerment, it’s also not ignorant of the sisterhood the characters created in the midst of their sleazy deeds.
And with that, Hustlers continues Constance Wu’s star power and creates one of the best roles Jennifer Lopez has ever done as queen bee stripper, Ramona. If Wu and Lopez don’t get Oscar nominations for this movie, the Oscars are dead to me. But director Lorene Scafaria is the real star of the movie, as she gives audiences a look at what a Scorsese-style crime caper would look like if written and directed by a woman.
If you are still unsure if Hustlers will be any good, just wait until Lopez makes her introduction as Ramona. The scene is breathtaking and looks like it would be created to grab the attention of every straight guy in the audience, but will also have women asking “How does she do that?”. As Ramona dances around the pole, money flying from the hands of men, the camera pans to Destiny (Wu) as she watches with love, admiration, and envy. But Romana’s introduction also sets in motion the film’s main plot.
Ramona quickly takes Destiny under her wing and their relationship begins to blossom. Throughout the film, we see Ramona become Destiny’s best friend, her worst enemy, a sister, her role model, and a mother-like figure.
Overall, Hustlers is more than what it’s marketing wants you to believe, but I can assure it is an extremely fascinating movie. It probably will appear as a girl-power anthem, but it is so much more.
Critic Rating: 5/5 stars
What did you think of the film? Sound off in the comments.