The Reel Review

B

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.

REEL FACTS

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

 

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