Hustlers (2019)

“Hustlers” is one of those movies that’s a lot to fun to watch, but once it’s over and you think back on it, it starts to fall apart slowly but surely. The true-life subject matter itself is intriguing, following a group of high-end exotic dancers targeting their predatory Wall Street clients with intricate financial schemes, and it provides director Lorene Scafaria with plenty of opportunities to revel in the gorgeous excess of its setting. Also on hand is a dynamic Jennifer Lopez as a sort-of mother den for the club’s performers, and she’s the movie’s best asset. Unfortunately, lead Constance Wu struggles with her character, and it’s not hard to see why: Scarafia’s strengths as a director are far superior than her screenwriting, and the movie doesn’t recover from its screenplay’s superficial treatment of its fascinating story and characters. There are a number of rather distracting cameos throughout the movie, but Lizzo manages to make the most out of her limited screen time thanks to her strikingly confident presence. So come for the thrilling atmosphere and Lopez’s charismatic star turn, but don’t expect too much or you’ll be disappointed.

Rating: ★★★ (out of 5)

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