Hustlers and all the images you see in this review are owned by STXfilms
Directed by Lorene Scafaria
Have I mentioned before that BASED ON A TRUE STORY is a tagline that fills me with dread and anxiety? Yeah, it’s never fun having to be historian of sorts (or even just read a few articles) to make sure that you aren’t being unfair to a movie because you don’t know everything around it, and frankly they tend to have rather unimpressive endings because life rarely ends on a BANG. Still, the premise looks interesting enough and I don’t need much of a reason to enjoy seeing rich people get screwed over, so maybe this will turn out to be a fun time even with the FACTS OF THE STORY hanging around its neck like an albatross! Maybe it’s a NICE albatross! You ever think of that!? Anyway, is this piece of late stage capitalism bashing yet another cathartic bit of enjoyable escapism, or is the only good thing that’ll come out of this movie the awesome dance moves that Jennifer Lopez learned while making it? Let’s find out!!
Dorothy, AKA Destiny (Constance Wu), is a stripper who has just started working at a big club in New York City, but despite the promises of big money she finds that she’s not quite fitting in with the clientele and that management is taking out HUGE chunks of her paycheck for various “services” that let her keep working there. If only there was an extremely talented stripper there who can show her the ropes and make her into a star, but what are the chances of THAT, am I right!? Oh wait, what about Ramona (Jennifer Lopez)? Yeah, she makes a bunch of money and makes it look totally effortless in the process! With her tutelage, Dorothy does manage to find her niche there and makes more money than she ever had before, but the plot twist here is that this is all ACTUALLY taking place in 2007 and the big financial crash that wiped out this entire country is about to hit their industry hard; especially since their big paying clients are Wall Street guys who are now broke. Well not BROKE broke like everyone else, but they’ve become rather stingy with their dollars and now no one can make money in this business which is particularly bad for Dorothy who has an elderly grandmother to take care of as well as a kid she’s raising by herself. Once the dust settles from the crash, Dorothy eventually goes in on a scheme that Ramona has set up along with fellow co-workers Mercedes and Annabelle (Keke Palmer and Lili Reinhart) to drug these rich penny pinching punks with stuff that’ll make them happy, pliable, and forgetful so they can then run up their credit cards on all sorts of services that they get a kickback on. Sounds like a great plan if you ask me, especially since none of these jerks went to jail for tanking the housing market, but a good thing can never seem to last and so things start to unravel over time as Dorothy starts to question whether Ramona is truly looking out for all of them or just for herself. Can Dorothy get enough money to take care of her biological family while ALSO keeping her new family safe and away from inquiring eyes? Just how much do they plan on getting away with before someone will eventually catch on, or are they hoping to steal back every penny these investment firm jerkwads took from the American public? Does anyone else think these ladies should be in line for the next Captain America? Taking money from these guys seems to me about as patriotic as apple pie and The Cheesecake Factory!