It’s only appropriate that Hustlers hustles its audience, but in a thoroughly pleasurable fashion.
The new crime caper, based on a true story about a group of strippers who start ripping off their rich clientele through a scheme involving drugs and credit card swipes, is enormous fun, starting with its very first scene. It’s a casually brilliant tracking shot tour of the strip club where Destiny (Constance Wu), as the “new girl,” walks from the dancers’ dressing rooms out onto the floor where men lustily cheer and shower money on her.
But as you’re distracted by all that razzle-dazzle and the movie’s many, many great jokes, Hustlers is quietly composing some deeply profound thoughts about the relationships women build with each other. These ideas percolate in the background of the film and only reach a full boil in its final act. But even there, writer-director Lorene Scafaria prefers a light touch to anything that might overpower the momentum.