[Header Image: STXfilms]
“We were fucking hurricanes, weren’t we?”
From the moment the first trailer for Hustlers dropped, I was intrigued and I’m so happy to say that it did not disappoint. This entire movie was a blast. I genuinely had the best time watching it and I can honestly say that it was all done incredibly well.
Hustlers is based on the article The Hustlers at Scores by Jessica Pressler meaning there was at least some kind of jumping off point. Even so, I would say the movie does a pretty fantastic job at bringing the essence of that article to the big screen while also creating something that you can follow even if have never heard the story before. Hustlers sucks you in from the very beginning and keeps your attention without really having to try. Whether it be the performances, the slight shift in tone between present day and the past, or even something as simple as the music, at the end of the day there’s always something to focus on and keep you entertained.
Beyond the a good structured story (that also happens to be pretty well paced), Hustlers has an incredible cast. Jennifer Lopez definitely steals the show in this one as Ramona Vega as she plays a variety of scenes with equal amounts of believability and power. It doesn’t matter if there’s dialogue or not, she is able to communicate so effectively and can easily let us, the audience, know exactly what her character is feeling or thinking. The other star who stole the spotlight was Constance Wu (as Destiny) and honestly, it’s for the same reasons. Both of their characters are arguably similar in some ways but are mostly incredibly different. Still, they both manage to bring their respective characters to life in similar ways but with varied results. Honestly, the main cast of girls – Jennifer Lopez and Constance Wu plus Keke Palmer and Lili Reinhart – all had characters that brought variety and felt genuinely unique from one another.
While all four characters have the same major goal in mind, each of them has slightly different things motivating them throughout the movie. Each girl also has different traits and personalities that sets them apart and adds to how each one of them fits into the group. While I do have my favourite (it’s Ramona, by the way), I enjoyed watching all four of them. Keke Palmer and Lili Reinhart definitely provided more of a comedic tone but it was very much needed, especially when the darker and more serious tones came in through some of Jennifer Lopez and Constance Wu’s scenes. It meant there was balance throughout Hustlers that matched the way the plot was laid out. The rest of the cast definitely added to this as well. While their parts were smaller compared to the leading ladies, so many of them were just as important and I couldn’t imagine the movie without them.
At the very least, Hustlers is a good time. It’s fun to watch, it’s got a great and varied cast, the music is well-picked (and placed), and it actually looks pretty too. Beyond that, Hustlers knows exactly what it is and it pulls it off so well. From the writing to the directing and everything in-between, this genuinely feels like a fairly well-oiled machine. Each individual part works together to create a movie that’s worth watching, does exactly what it set out to do, and has a pleasant balance between wanting to have a good time and being a genuinely well-made piece of cinema.
Rating: ★★★★½ /5