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Hustlers The Film Tries to Hustle a Protagonist out of me, but I dodged it Grade: B-

Source: IMDB

Hustlers is based on a true crime story. Life was good for these strippers in New York in 2007, especially up and coming stripper Destiny (Constance Wu) whom is getting the hang of making that big money to afford a new crib and pay off her grandmothers debt. Unfortunately Destiny and the rest of the gals soon lose a great amount of fortune, as the stock market crashed in 2008. Which cause the stripping business to lose a lot of customers, which brought Destiny and a lot of strippers into a hole. But have no fear top stripper Ramona (Jennifer Lopez) is here with a diabolical evil plan. Romona and a few other gals will lure wealthy men to the strip club and max out their credit cards.... By drugging them... Yup you heard that correctly. I enjoyed the Cinematography of this film, lots of lovely shots in this film, makes you want to go to a strip club immediately after... But I know the strip club isn’t as nice is this one so I’ll pass. The Score was nice, I did enjoy some soundtrack selections as they fit well with the strip club theme. The cast all in all was good, not great but good. Romana played by Jennifer Lopez played a good performance, as far as one whom suppose to represent a stripper luring in the big bucks because she’s drop dead sexy... Oh yeah I totally believed it, I’d throw money too especially that opening scene. I think the film does a good job with this character, it’s enough development to know her character but also not feel she’s a protagonist. Constance Wu playing the lead role Destiny played a fair performance. When the film wanted us to believe Destiny was owning her stripper reputation, as men will throw money at her due to the fact she’s bad... I didn’t believe it. Constance looked uncomfortable in this role, I just don’t see her blossom as the character this film is trying to make of her. Even though her performance wasn’t bad by no means, I just would’ve liked to believe the character she’s playing because I didn’t. I have a problem with Destiny as a character: This film tries way too hard for the audience to like this character. See the problem with that is she’s not a protagonist, she’s actually an antagonist because she’s apart of this corrupt disgusting crime. You could’ve shown bits of her life, but not spend too much time on this character, so it can make the audience believe she’s not a good character. But now you’re displaying her as a protagonist, when she’s completely not so I believe the film maker did a bad job in representing this character on screen. Couple other flaws to point out. Romana reasoning for drugging the men... Whack. Now who knows, the real Romana claimed this film is inaccurate to the real story as she’s filing a lawsuit... But to be that shallow and use stereotyping to perform a diabolical crime like this is so low. What kind of lesson are you teaching your daughter?! I don’t care if some of them are douchebags, you’re doing something way worst than most of them have ever done in their entire life. I felt replaying the same scene, of drugging and luring rich men into the club over and over got repetitive. You don’t have to show it twenty times, just get a few out of the way and be done. I do have problems with the final act, that includes the last scene. We see our cast members dancing and having fun... Do they not know these gals, weren’t having fun when they got caught?! It was a dark period for them when they got caught with this serious offense, why would they go out in a little happy montage?! I expected a sadder conclusion than this, I get people behind this film probably had fun making this film and I’m all for it... But the real women behind this story did not have fun at the end, so don’t do that. What keeps Hustlers at float for me for the most part is the story, I thought this was a solid crime story to tell and I’m glad it was told. I was invested from beginning to end, though not executed perfectly, I can’t help but to say I was enjoying what I was watching. Just watching these women turning completely evil due to rough times was intriguing to me. Like this is how low some people can get for paper... It’s crazy what money will make someone do. Besides Destiny, I like the fact the film doesn’t try to make us get attach to any stripper, because I didn’t like any stripper character in this film... Which that’s how it should be. Like any crime story early on you learn a small detail about each stripper, as you can see why they chose this profession and would like to see them make an honest living. We still don’t like the characters, they’re just strippers to the audience. But then we start to down right hate every single character, which the film is suppose to do. If this film wasn’t trying so hard to make Destiny a protagonist for some reason... I believe it would’ve received a B, but unfortunately I still don’t understand the film maker trying to get us attach with any of these characters. But for what I received, I felt the story had a purpose in being told as it was an interesting watch, could’ve been better but I felt my satisfaction was met. Overall, Hustlers was a fairly decent film. I’d recommend it, it’s no Goodfellas but it’s a cool watch and should be seen on the big screen. I was going to talk about Cardi B... Eh let’s not. -Mitch Smietana

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