So many people this week stopped me to ask, "Is J-Lo going to get nominated for an Oscar?" It is a testament to her star power and her gift for self-promotion, because her movie isn't good enough to deserve such talk -- though Jennifer Lopez does make one heck of an entrance.
Her power grabs you, and J-Lo's months of hard work to make her pole dancing believable pay off. I bought her as a stripper here in the city who mentors "Destiny," played by Wu.
And when Cardi B -- who used to be a stripper for real -- shows up to help, I got ready for a fun ride.
So you can imagine my disappointment when she quickly disappears and other talents like Keke Palmer simply aren't given enough to do. As a result, the movie ends up being a pale shadow of the 2015 magazine article that inspired it.
The "Hustlers" spike the drinks of man after man after man after man, with J-Lo's character explaining, "These Wall Street guys, you want 'em to drink enough to get their credit cards but sober enough to sign the check."
They are some of the least sympathetic victims you've ever seen, but the endless parade of losers leads straight down "Boring Boulevard" to the intersection of "Who Cares" and "Not Me," though Lopez gives us a hint of what might've been when she says of her marks, "You see what they did to this country? They stole from everybody. Hard working people lost everything."
Her performance is good enough to earn a nomination if the movie had been Oscar worthy, but having raised the tantalizing possibility all this might mean something, the focus remains on the sleaze and cheese.
I didn't think it was possible to make such a boring movie about such a compelling story, so I urge you to leave all of the hype aside. Please, don't get hustled into seeing "Hustlers."
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