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Hustlers  (DVD)


Stars: Jennifer Lopez, Constance Wu, Lili Reinhart, Keke Palmer, Julia Stiles, Mercedes Ruehl, Madeline Brewer, Wai Ching Ho, Cardi B, Lizzo

Director: Lorene Scafaria

Despite Lopez's best performance in quite a while, this is a deeply dispiriting film, based on true events, and centred on a group of pole dancers at a 'gentlemens' club who tire of giving up percentages of their earnings to club heavies, and decide to branch out on their own, bearing in mind the club's advice to 'get the customers drunk enough to hand over their credit cards but sober enough to sign a cheque'.

The girls throw in a cocktail of drugs which renders their victims virtually comatose. Their dresser (Ruehl) is the mother hen of the group, while tough veteran stripper Ramona (Lopez) is the leader, taking Eurasian-American Dorothy, later Destiny (Wu) under her wing. Palmer and Reinhart are the other main girls, while such star-billed names as Cardi B and Lizzo are barely (sorry) in it, and Stiles has a rotten role as the reporter documenting it all.

We're supposed to empathise with this unsavoury collection, especially Wu, who does it all for her little daughter and old grandmother, but it just doesn't work. So we're perhaps not sorry (or surprised) that their reprehensible (and barely legal) schemes go pear-shaped in the end.

David Quinlan

USA 2019. UK Distributor: STX International. Colour by deluxe.
102 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 2, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 2, Swearing 3.

Review date: 30 Dec 2019