Hustlers Review

Hustlers

Female-led crime dramas are a dime a dozen in Hollywood. This year we’ve had two female-led crime dramas. Unfortunately, the other film is the absolutely awful The Kitchen. Nevertheless, people are extremely excited to see The Kitchen and STX Films’ upcoming film, Hustlers.

Although the film is so much better than the other film, it still has its fair share of issues. Regardless, Jennifer Lopez brings her absolute A-game to this film.

Hustlers follow Ramona and Destiny, two strippers who are striking it rich stripping for the rich and wealthy. Unfortunately, the housing crisis in 2013 has brought them down to their lowest level. Fortunately, Ramona comes up with a plan to get filthy rich once again.

Hustlers - Constance Wu and Jennifer Lopez

Although on paper Hustlers seems like a crime drama, the film ultimate isn’t about that. Instead, it’s about the friendship between the two lead characters, Destiny and Ramona. Don’t worry, though, the film relies heavily on the crimes that these gang of women commits, but the film tries to subvert the gang tropes by doing something unpredictable with it.

Nevertheless, the film still goes through a lot of predictable moments—especially if you’ve seen a number of crime dramas. A lot of the story beats and tropes are the same can be found here—including the eventual “the bigger you are, the harder you’ll fall” genre trope. You can see it coming and you shake your head as to how they fall, but the story is still a bit intriguing.

Yet unpredictably, the relationship between the two lead characters doesn’t follow the same tropes as other crime dramas. There’s an inherent sweet relationship between the two that’s rare in these kinds of films. The mentor/apprentice between the two is a sweet one that’s reminiscent of a mother and daughter relationship. Even when things fall apart, the relationship doesn’t turn ugly. It’s surprising, to say the least.

Hustlers - Lili Reinhart, Jennifer Lopez, Keke Palmer, and Constance Wu

That’s a testament to Jennifer Lopez’s fantastic performance. She gives the film gravitas and attitude that’s required for a film like this. This is essentially her best performance in years. Constance Wu does well in the film too, but Jennifer Lopez steals the show here.

Yet the rest of the crew never seem to be an integral part of the film. This is Ramona and Destiny’s film and theirs alone. Unfortunately, that also means that there are zero character development and “meaty” moments for everyone else.

Producers Will Ferrell and Adam McKay seem to love to tell stories about the catastrophic housing crisis back in 2013. So the fact that this film gets revenge on the businessmen that screwed everyone over is really satisfying to watch. At the same time, the film brings to light that these people are still humans. So there’s a bit of a sympathetic angle to the way the victims are portrayed.

The film feels extremely long—even at an hour and 51 minutes long. There are a lot of pacing issues that make the film feel like a 3-hour film. It takes its sweet time to get to the actual criminal scheming. Sure, the first third or half of the film is used to establish the friendship between the two leads, but these moments overstays its welcome. Also, the film gets repetitive with its scenes. There’s a number of scenes where the ladies drug and bleed the businessmen dry. After a while, you just think to yourself “okay, we get it.”

Overall, Hustlers is a decent crime drama with an interesting storyline. Sadly, the film also feels ridiculously long with its poor pacing issues and repetitive scenes. Despite all that, Hustlers is still one of the best films STX has ever put out there.

Rating: 3/5 atoms

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