Hustlers – Movie Reviews by Ry!

Hustlers – Stripping Down Drama and Money

Telling a story can be spoken in many forms.  No matter if it’s fiction or realistic, it is always intriguing the unfolding nature of a character.  Adapting stories from the real world always brings in a different dynamic.  With Hustlers, it tries to find that balance of being inspired by a true story within its own entertaining value.  Following a group of strippers, it manages to blend both elements to create something that is raw, entertaining but human to the core.  Hustlers is a film that becomes a genuine standout for the year of 2019.

The story follows Destiny (Constance Wu) who begins working at a New York Strip club and befriends a fellow stripper, Ramona (Jennifer Lopez).  Through trials and tribulations, these two ladies must find a way to make money when the strip club falters because of real world issues.  The direction takes on a mixture of a character drama and crime thriller.  By blending these genres, it creates a dynamic that is unique on the surface.  You have Destiny, a young stripper just trying to make money to support her and her Grandmother.  Her friendship with Ramona leads to a situation that mimics the ‘Mentor/Pupil’ trope.  Everything revolving around Strip Club and its ‘behind the scenes’ details play out within the first half of the film.  This setting allows for general growth, understanding their hustle to get money from the Wall Street men that frequent their club.  Everything good falls with the Housing Crash in 2008.  The realistic effects add layers to the characters, revealing truths of ‘going the extra mile’ to make money. 

The second half creates a situation where criminal elements normally found in a gangster film are mixed with characterization.  You see a lot of the tropes found in great films like Goodfellas and Casino being rehashed within this film’s setting.  This creates a lot of obvious detail on certain ancillary characters (in the second half), driving a predictable aspect of the ‘rise and fall’ mantra.  Even as the fervor of the character elements wavers, it never takes away from the entertaining value of the story.  As you move into the climax, everything boils down to an aftermath effect. This leads into the ‘where are they now’ epilogue to close out the story.  Hustlers is a definite standout because of the realistic elements blended in the crime drama storytelling.  With great leads and a lively journey, this film is worth seeing at the theaters.  It is worth the full price of admission, one of my favorites of the year.

Full Score – 4 out of 5 (Full Price)

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