The Reel Review
It’s Goodfellas meets Showgirls, with Jennifer Lopez and Constance Wu (Crazy Rich Asians) starring in this comedy heist about New York City strippers drugging and robbing high-rolling CEOs and stock traders in the years after the big Wall Street crash of 2008. The film is based on a true story documented in a 2016 New York magazine article.
Lopez has never looked (or acted) better than as Ramona, the mesmerizingly sexy, fast talking, charismatic leader with a plan. And Wu brings loads of charm to her role as the sweet, business-minded Destiny. While the montage-heavy story from writer/director Lorene Scafaria (Seeking A Friend for the End of the World) itself is extremely light on substance, it doesn’t really matter. This foursome, which includes Keke Palmer (Akeelah and the Bee) as the smart-mouthed, shoe-obsessed Mercedes and Lili Reinhart (Riverdale, Miss Stevens) as weak-stomached Annabelle, is a charmer.
The high energy cameo appearances from Cardi B and Lizzo are both terrific, albeit frustratingly brief. The biggest negative – a bloated midsection that could have benefitted from about 20 minutes of editing, Regardless, Hustlers is still a fun, mindless good time.
• Hustlers is the film debut for Cardi B, who, ironically enough, says she illegally drugged and robbed men in the early stages of her stripping career.
• Jennifer Lopez trained for two and a half months to prepare for her big pole dancing solo in the film, which she did without a stand-in. Way to go, J-Lo!
• Hustlers is the third time Jennifer Lopez has worked with Keke Palmer. Both voiced characters in 2012’s Ice Age: Continental Drift and its sequel, 2016’s Ice Age: Collision Course