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Hustlers Review

14 Sep

This is a really solid piece of entertainment all around, though it starts to get a bit tedious and repetitive once the actual hustling begins. I know it’s necessary to an extent, but I’ve always found the police angle, ie characters getting investigated/caught, to be a form of dramatic tension that filmmakers just take at face value – when in reality, there’s a lot that needs to be done to make that resonate. Here, we don’t get enough insight into most of the characters’ lives aside from broadly sketched personalities, resulting in the audience not feeling the full weight of some of the major developments in their lives (financial crash, hustling going wrong, getting investigated, etc). Even Wu’s character is pretty rudimentary, and the whole flashback framework the film uses with her character is ill advised and unnecessary.

That being said, the movie really shines in its first half. The blooming friendship between Dorothy and Ramona is beautifully handled, especially a scene in which the latter teaches the former all her pole dancing moves. J-Lo commands the screen from her very first scene, and she understands the heart, soul, and style of this film more than anyone. Well, except for maybe Lorene Scafaria, who employs a cool confidence behind the camera that results in really interesting directorial choices. Throughout, you can clearly see it’s a story of friendship, love, and support, one that doesn’t let them off the hook but acknowledges the family that formed at this strip club. And though the film runs into some hiccups in its later stages, there’s an infectious enthusiasm behind it that carries it all the way home.

GRADE: B

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