HUSTLERS Review — Putting the Stiletto on the Other Foot

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Hustlers review — This revenge of the strippers film is surprisingly intriguing—now about  J-Lo’s pole dance…

hustlers reviewWho would have thought that a film about strippers-turned hustlers who scam the wolves of Wall Street by drugging them then maxing out their credit cards could be so significant?

Hustlers, based on a 2015 New York magazine article by Jessica Pressler, was adapted and directed by the outrageously talented Lorene Scafaria, and the fact that it’s fully female driven makes all the difference. It’s refreshing and empowering, showing uneducated women using what god (and plastic surgeons) gave them to take their power back from amoral egotists. Take that, self-proclaimed Masters of the Universe!

All the significant players are women — the men are intentionally interchangeable and forgettable. And these women power through them like gangbusters. Constance Wu is the fresh and engaging heart—she’s an ambitious young stripper on the rise, whose goal is not to snare an accommodating millionaire, but to have enough money to be independent and support her devoted grandmother.

She’s backed up by a strong cast, and each member has her moment to shine. They include  Julia Stiles, Keke Palmer, Lili Reinhart, Lizzo, Cardi B and Mercedes Ruehl.

But it’s Jennifer Lopez who’s been getting all the buzz, and justifiably so. That pole dancing scene is absolutely jaw dropping. Not quite baring it all, she will doubtless be single-handedly responsible for the return of pole dancing aerobics classes. But she goes far beyond stunning choreography, embodying a character who is dazzling, slick and calculating, yet surprisingly naive and endearingly maternal at the same time.

The film is not without its flaws, however, the main one being that we see a few too many capers. Hustlers is less than two hours long, clocking in at one hour and 47 minutes, but it could have been even more succinct—we get their M.O. after awhile—the girls draping themselves over men while literally and figuratively picking their pockets gets a bit redundant.

But all in all, it’s a riveting story, dazzlingly told from a female perspective, that really puts the stiletto on the other foot.

If, after reading this Hustlers review you plan on sashaying out to see it, get times and tickets at Fandango.com.

Rated R

1 Hour 47 Minutes

Hustlers review — This revenge of the strippers film is surprisingly intriguing—now about  J-Lo’s pole dance…

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Lisa Johnson Mandell

Lisa Johnson Mandell

Lisa Johnson Mandell is an award winning journalist, author and film/TV critic. She can be heard regularly on Cumulus radio stations throughout the US, and on BBC Radio.

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